Acne is not just a teenage skin condition: it can continue well into adulthood. At whatever age, however, severe acne can have a majorly detrimental effect on a person’s wellbeing.
The best ways of treating acne depend on the severity. Mild acne usually responds to generally available skin care and acne products. Severe acne however may need the intervention of a GP who can prescribe medication or a dermatologist who can devise a course of suitable treatment.
There are many preparations available over the counter designed to treat the symptoms of acne and to prevent breakouts and they most commonly contain salicylic acid. This ingredient is a plant hormone and works to treat acne by unclogging blocked pores ñ the main cause of breakouts.
Topical application breaks down the bonds of dead skin cells and skin oils such as sebum that collect in the pore, allowing the pore to release them. It prevents or clears the “plug” that results in a spot or pimple. Salicylic acid can also help to prevent fewer breakouts because it decreases the production of skin sebum.
Expert dermatologists may prefer to use vitamin A rather than salicylic acid. Skin experts have access to prescription-based topical creams and washes containing vitamin A. They are also able to prescribe antibiotics that contain the vitamin or are complementary to the products advised.
Vitamin A plays an essential role in cell growth. Retinoid vitamin A is known to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can promote better skin health.
It works on acne by reducing the size and productivity of the skin’s oil glands thereby reducing the amount of acne-causing oil to be produced. As an antioxidant, it helps to prevent free radicals that can damage the skin. Vitamin A can also reduce skin colouration caused by acne and help to regulate skin tone.
Whichever form of treatment decided upon, the starting point has to be visiting a qualified dermatologist where a skin professional can examine the severity of the acne and prescribe the most appropriate course of treatment. Every skin type is different, so make sure the decisions for it’s health are taken by people who’s job it is to know!