What is the best acne treatment?
All of them, if you want to get the best results that is.
It makes sense right?
After all what’s the point of using an oil control cleanser to flush out the follicular wall, if your still using a fatty cream that feeds the p.acnes bacteria; instead you need an integrated approach to your skin care routine.
But it’s confusing I know; because there is so much misinformation about how to treat your acne prone skin.
This is why I feel it is important to simplify the best acne treatments available, addressing only the few basic principles for topical acne therapy.
THE BEST ACNE TREATMENTS
This family are the non-retinoid topical peeling drugs.
Benzyl peroxide is a good example, it contains antimicrobial properties and is useful in suppressing P acnes bacteria, this is due to its effectiveness in penetrating the oil rich follicle.
However it is important to note, if you are suffering from sensitisation, it can cause inflammation and irritation in the skin in some instances.
Salicylic acid and sulfur with resorcinol are all FDA approved drug treatments, sodium sulfacetamide and sulfur when combined, work really well together.
They normalise desquamation of the skin cells, preventing the build up of oil and debris within the pores, making them one of the best acne treatments available.
Azelaic Acid is also an extremely effective natural topical treatment, it reduces P.acnes and has a mild anti comedogenic and anti-inflammatory effect.
It is also beneficial in helping to suppress post-hyper pigmentation that can occur in individuals who have darker complexion.
Retin A, differin and tazorac, are all commonly prescribed topical drugs for acne.
These vitamin A derivatives are strong keratolytics or peeling agents, they help to flush debris from the follicular wall.
Tetracycline, minocycline and erythromycin, are often prescribed to accompany these peeling agents, especially in cases that are more severe or less responsive.
Accutane is an oral prescription retinoid used to treat cystic acne, which is a severe form of acne where the skin has deep pockets of infection.
This treatment has a number of beneficial effects, including helping to reduce the amount of oil produced in the skin, which in turn reduces the amount of P. acnes bacteria.
It is important to note, that it can have many severe side effects, so discuss these with your doctor before taking a prescription.
Excessive sebum can be controlled with a foaming cleanser, which will control oil in the skin.
A cleanser that contains glycolic or salicylic acid at around 2%, will help break the acne cycle, those who have a lot of pustules and papules should choose a medicated cleanser.
It is important to avoid fatty based products designed for a dry, mature skin, as these ingredients can exacerbate acne, instead look for a gel based cleanser.
A toner containing an antibacterial such as salicylic or glycolic acid, will help flush out the follicular wall and prepare a clean skin for nourishing ingredients.
in this article I discuss follicle congestion, so it makes sense that regular exfoliation is key.
- Break up existing impactions
- Prevent the re-occurance of micro-comedones, which is the initial stages of all acne breakouts
- Removal breaks down the build up of cells and oils, allowing oxygen to penetrate the follicle and kill the P.acnes bacteria
The strength and concentration should be determined by the severity of the skin problem, good examples are alpha or beta hydroxy acids, salicylic acid and sulfur.
A clay based mask will give the skin a deep cleanse, pulling impacted debris from deep within the follicle.
REGULAR FACIALS ARE KEY
Regular facials are one of the best acne treatments.
They involve the use of vapour zone which opens the pores and ozone which kills bacteria.
Desincrustration products are also applied to the blocked pores, they are alkaline by nature, loosening impactions in the follicle and making extraction easier, promoting the natural extraction of blocked pores without possible re-infection.
Depending on the types of acne and the inflammation, superficial peeling may help, a base of up to 30% performed in a series of treatments often shows good results.
It is really important that you try to avoid touching or picking the skin, this can lead to scarring and inflammation, which can permanently damage the skin tissue.