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How to Treat Acne

Inflammatory Acne

Having problem with acne? To treat it properly, know which type you have. It may be inflammatory or non-inflammatory or a mix of both. The first type is the more obvious and worse; reddish papules (flat lesion), nodules (small elevated lesion) and pustules (raised lesions with pus inside) usually cover a large area of the face. Different causes have been proposed including hormones and the lipase of Propionibacterium acnes breaking down and freeing irritating fatty acids. Benzoyl peroxide works well with the inflammatory type by oxidizing Propionibacterium acnes, thereby killing the anaerobic organism. You can buy it in different brands and in different concentrations. Vitamin A treatments (retinoic acid, tretinoin) are also, if not more, effective in treating inflammatory acne. Remember to treat promptly, otherwise scarring can occur. Here are some tips to control inflammatory acne:

Tip # 1 – Use benzoyl peroxide after washing your face well. Do not scrub your pimples, they’ll only get worse and redder.

Tip # 2 – If you absolutely have to pop a pimple; make sure it’s far from the nose and that it’s shallow. You’ll know it’s shallow if you can clearly outline its opaque white round shape. Sterilize your needle and skin with alcohol and puncture at the side. Gently press out the pus if not all contents are emptied. Repeat sterilization afterwards. This procedure may also be done at a clinic and they call it acne surgery.

Tip # 3 – Avoid, or better yet, never pop pimples near your nose! If you puncture it, you risk further infection and it may spread backward to a confluence of veins in your brain called the cavernous sinus.

Tip # 4 – If you feel a pimple too deep and wide to let you do anything to it; don’t fret. Relax, dip a cotton ball in hot water and use it as a hot compress on the spot. Apply it repeatedly and make sure that each time the cotton comes in contact with your skin, it’s hotter or as hot as the previous one you applied. Use the highest temperature you can tolerate; not scorching, not burning, just hot. Press it on for a few seconds and remove it right before it cools down. You don’t want to solidify and stiffen up the pimple again. After a few minutes of doing this, I guarantee you’ll notice a significant change in size, redness and consistency. If you want an easier way out, use a Zeno Zit Zapper; it also works by heating up the pimple; it’s no mess and is simply handy.

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The Zeno zit zapper uses heat to clear out pimples.

Tip # 5 – Cover pimples with a concealer only if you absolutely have to. If you’re staying home, don’t bother with make-up; it’ll only clog the pores and may stir up more trouble.

Tip # 6 – Observe proper skin hygiene. Remember when your teacher said an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure? Well, she’s right as always. You can actually forget everything but this one. As for hormone-induced acne, it’ll go away after puberty so don’t worry too much. Newer products have come out like Acne Pen which uses silver as an anti-microbial to treat acne. The market can keep coming up with higher tech products but it’s all up to you to discover the products that really work for you. Products aside, simply follow the tips above and enjoy pimple-free years! 🙂

Non-Inflammatory Acne

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Notice black dots on your nose? How about small white mounds? This is acne and it’s the non-inflammatory type; it consists of the familiar black and white heads. Black heads are also called open comedones; they have a central keratin plug and are black due to melanin oxidation. White heads are closed comedones; they do not have a visible central plug. Unfortunately, there is no specific cure for the black and white heads; better skin care regimen and pore regulation are required to prevent recurrence. Here are some tips to minimize comedones:

Tip # 1 – Use warm water before applying facial wash so that pores are open and exposed to the cleansing effect. Wash off with water of a lower temperature to close off pores.

Tip # 2 – Try nose packs and pore strips for your nose area every now and then; they effectively pull out the keratin plugs and some unwanted hair. Try i White nose pack that works like glue and if you’re not a fan of the peel-off products, use nose clay masks like the one from Face Shop Black Head Ex Series.

Tip # 3 – Use a facial wash with subtle matte finish. This will lessen the oil on your face and keep it that way for a longer time. Be careful of choosing the brand, though. If your facial wash does give you a matte finish but is overly drying, stop using it. You will only feel sticky and oily when oil does come out on your now desert-like skin. Pond’s Pure White Deep Cleansing Facial Foam with activated carbon works well in giving you the clean feel without overly drying the skin. Gatsby Oil Control Clay Wash also works well. A lot of dermatologist, though would recommend a milder cleanser with lipids to better avoid dryness.

Tip # 4 – Last but not the least…wash your face well everyday and every time you feel the need to.

1 comment

  1. Blackheads

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