In the United States alone, acne affects between 40 million and 50 million individuals. While acne mainly affects teens, it’s not uncommon for children and adults to suffer from acne too. It’s no wonder that acne treatments are some of the most popular skincare products sold on the beauty and cosmetics market.
Why Do I Have Acne?
Before we talk about specific acne treatments, we first have to talk about what exactly acne is and why it happens. Acne is a skin condition that occurs when your hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. It causes whiteheads, blackheads or pimples, and there are different acne treatments for each of these.
Acne is completely normal and often starts to occur around puberty. During your teenage years, you probably had bothersome breakouts due to the increased oil production and hormonal fluctuations as a result of your body going through puberty. However, acne doesn’t end at puberty for most people. While it can quiet down for some, it often doesn’t completely go away.
For some people, their acne actually gets worse during their adult years as opposed to their teenage years. Whatever your journey, know that you’re not alone and that there are acne treatments out there, available to you no matter your skin type.
Depending on the severity of your acne, it may cause you emotional distress and leave scars behind—physically and mentally. The earlier you start treatment, the lower your risk of such problems.
Depending on how severe your acne is, you can have the following symptoms:
- Whiteheads (closed pores)
- Blackheads (open pores)
- Small red, tender bumps (papules)
- Pimples (pustules), which are papules with pus at their tips
- Large, solid, painful lumps under the skin (nodules)
- Painful, pus-filled lumps under the skin (cystic lesions)
Acne usually appears on the face, forehead, chest, upper back and shoulders. Therefore, you can even find acne treatments for the body if that’s what you’re struggling with. While there are thousands of acne treatments that you can buy over-the-counter, some patients require stronger medications that only a dermatologist or primary care physician can prescribe.
Different from a PCP, a dermatologist may also be able to recommend over-the-counter products that you may not have tried before, as well as other cosmetic treatments for acne in-office that are not everyday products (e.g. lasers, microneedling, chemical peels, etc.)
For women in particular, their acne may be a result of their hormonal fluctuations every month, which continue to happen long after puberty. Therefore, another acne treatment you may want to consider is hormonal birth control to balance your hormones and calm down your acne.
In older adults, a sudden onset of severe acne may signal an underlying disease requiring medical attention. Make sure to talk to your doctor if you’re concerned about your acne or other skin conditions you may have.
Get Clear Skin With the Right Ingredients | Kendall Dermatology Office
You can’t get clear skin if you use the wrong ingredients, so choose the right products. One active ingredient we highly recommend as an acne treatment is benzoyl peroxide, as it effectively treats and prevents breakouts by getting rid of dead skin cells, excess oil, and bacteria.
You’ve probably heard of salicylic acid before, which is another popular active ingredient used to treat acne. However, this ingredient treats noninflammatory acne best, like blackheads and whiteheads.
Benzoyl peroxide, on the other hand, is among other acne treatments that are best for inflammatory acne, such as cysts, pustules, papules, and nodules. This type of acne is under the skin and is characterized by red bumps filled with pus.
While benzoyl peroxide can be a great solution for your acne, there are side effects that come with using it, and there are various precautions you should take when you start using benzoyl peroxide.
In the beginning, you should start with a very low concentration of this ingredient to see how sensitive your skin is towards it. Start slow, using it only a few times a week so as not to irritate your skin.
Over time as your skin builds up a tolerance, you can increase the frequency of use and increase the concentration if your skin needs it. A common side effect people experience with this ingredient is dryness, so don’t be alarmed if your skin feels drier than usual after using this product.
Make sure to use plenty of moisturizer to keep your skin nourished and hydrated. Also, wash your hands thoroughly after applying the product, as benzoyl peroxide is notorious for leaving stains on clothes and hair.
The Spot On gel is the perfect spot treatment utilizing the antibacterial properties of Benzoyl Peroxide USP to help clear existing blemishes and prevent future blemishes from forming. You can choose between 5% benzoyl peroxide and 10%, so it’s a product you should wait to use if you’re a newbie to benzoyl peroxide.
Before applying, make sure to cleanse your skin thoroughly and apply sunscreen liberally if you decide to go outside in the sun. If you experience sensitivity or irritation, stop using this product and talk to your dermatologist about what other products you can use to help your acne.