We’ve all been there- preparing for prom, wedding, or a big celebration, and our plans suddenly get ruined by pimples. Pimples, or commonly called zits, are just one of the few things that affect every man and woman, at least a couple of times in their lifetime, without exceptions. They can be persistent, boring, and sometimes even painful. But, there are many ways you can get rid of pimples, even if they don’t disappear themselves.
There are, however, more serious conditions, like acne, that are even more persistent and often harder to solve. Many people actually wrongfully confuse these two- acne and pimples are not the same. Acne is a condition that affects your follicles and oil glands, while pimples are just a symptom of acne.
Acne occurs when your follicles, which connect pores and oil glands, get clogged by excess oil and hair. When bacteria gets in that plug, the skin becomes irritated and red, followed by formation of the pimples. Even though this condition is pretty persistent, and requires a lot of care, treatment and attention, there is always help.
What is your skin type?
Understanding and knowing your skin type is the first step toward finding out the reason for your skin problem, and it is the first step toward solving it. There are five different skin types: oily, dry, sensitive, combined and normal skin type.
Normal skin type means that the skin is well-balanced, with no or very few imperfections, while the pores are small. People with normal skin usually don’t have problems like dryness, cracking of the skin, and don’t experience pimples that often.
Dry skin type is characterized in lack of sebum production- sebum being the substance produced in oil glands; a skin lacking sebum also lacks lipids, which are important for skin moisturizing and protection. People with dry skin may also notice that their skin is less elastic, with lines that are more visible, along with possible red patches and almost invisible pores. Dry skin is also prone to itching, cracking and irritation.
On the other hand, oily skin type is the complete opposite of dry skin. Oily skin is characterized in excess sebum, also known as seborrhea. People with oily skin can often have enlarged pores, blackheads, pimples and other blemishes, and are more prone to conditions like acne.
It is also possible to have a combined skin type. This means that, in some areas, your skin can be dry, while in some areas, it can be normal or oily. Oily areas are usually those in the T-zone: nose, forehead and chin.
There are many common shapes in which acne can occur: non-inflammatory types are blackheads and whiteheads, while some of the inflammatory types are nodules, pustules, cysts, and papules. There are many ways through which you can control these acne problems, but before taking any action, please consult with your dermatologist.
Non-prescription acne treatment
Some things you should consider using if you have acne is regular, unscented soap and water, along with cleansers- most cleansers include ingredients like glycolic acid, salicylic acid, sulfur and benzoyl peroxide. Keep in mind that soap, water and cleansers won’t stop your acne, but will prevent it from getting worse.
For milder cases, your doctor may advise you to use benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid we’ve previously mentioned. They can be found in many acne products, and they play an important role in anti-acne treatment. Benzoyl peroxide is believed to successfully destroy bacteria that can be found in acne, and salicylic acid is used for unclogging pores.
Prescription medication for acne treatment
For more severe cases of acne, your doctor might prescribe you some drugs you can take, if non-prescription medication didn’t help you. These topical prescription medications include: Retinoids, antibiotics, Dapsone, combined contraceptive pills, anti-androgen agents and isotretinoin.
Retinoids, and retinoid-like drugs are drugs derived from vitamin A and contain tretinoin, adapalene and tazarotene, and exist as gels, lotions and creams. The main function of this medication is to prevent your follicles from clogging.
Antibiotics are often combined with retinoid and benzoyl peroxide. Their main function is to reduce redness and kill excess skin bacteria. Antibiotics are not recommended to be used alone.
Combined contraceptive pills also present a good hormonal acne treatment. These pills are a combination of estrogen and progestin. Since you might not see the results in the first couple of months, some women combine these pills with other acne medication.
Anti-androgen agents are used mostly by women and adolescent girls, and the way they work is by blocking androgen hormones.
Isotretinoin is a very powerful drug, and before being prescribed, all patients are closely monitored by their doctor, because of potential side-effects this drug may cause. Even though it is believed to help patients who suffer from acne and have tried all other options, doctors are always cautious when giving it to patients.
If you consider using some of these medicines, or have been prescribed a drug from your dermatologist, but don’t know if there is a cheaper option, you could consider comparing drug prices online on DigMedix. You can compare prices, reviews and delivery information of more than 30 online pharmacies in the UK.
Prevention and maintaining healthy habits
Some cases of acne are not severe and can be solved after some time, but some cases are more severe and more persistent. A good advice for all parties, for those who don’t have acne, for those who don’t have severe acne, and those with milder acne, is to always take care and be gentle with your skin.
Avoid using too much make-up, perfumed and scented soaps, cleansers, lotions and gels. Wash your face with warm water, always use clean towels and have them prepared specially for your face. When drying you face, don’t rub too hard, to avoid tearing the skin and making it more prone to bacteria and infections.
Before taking any action and using anything on your face, always consult your doctor, because sometimes, even the most unproblematic skin types develop acne due to poor hygiene and wrong products.