Thursday, April 16, 2015

Hygiene and medications to prevent acne

August 20, 2012 by  
Filed under Articles

One of the most common misconceptions about acne is that it is caused by dirt and poor hygiene. Taboos die hard!  Because this statement is obviously false! Acne is caused by a combination of uncontrollable factors such as hormonal disorder, the natural rhythm of skin renewal, or over-secretion of the sebaceous glands. Fortunately, there are a number of elements you can control. If you suffer from acne, here are some tips and tricks that will help limit the damage.

Prevention against acne :

Tip #1: do not wash your face too frequently and with too much force. Filth is not the cause of your acne so excessive friction will not make it disappear. Try to limit the washing of the face to twice a day, using mild soap suitable for the treatment of acne. Overly frequent washing dry out your face and make the skin sensitive to bacteria. Too much washing may also stimulate the sebaceous glands and they’ll produce even more sebum.

Tip # 2: Do not exfoliate your face if you suffer from acne. If you have to, use a mild solution with small smooth grains. Avoid products containing almond and apricot shell fragments, as they can irritate or even tear your fragile skin, thus aggravating the acne problems.

Tip # 3: Say no to alcohol on the face. If you use a toner, avoid products with high concentrations of isopropyl alcohol or rubbing alcohol. Is a strong astringent;  alcohol will strip the top layer of the skin, causing the sebaceous glands to react by producing more sebum, the natural oil that protects the skin. Result: a dry, red skin, with probably more imperfections.

Tip # 4: Do not scratch, pinch, hit or punch the pimples, especially using your fingernails or any other tool that may carry bacteria.  Squeezing the pimples to expel the pus is even more risky for it will likely leave permanent scars on your face.

Tip # 5: Avoid touching your face, because there a risk of leaving on the already fragile skin of your face bacteria that will further exacerbate your acne problem. There already are bacteria on the skin of your face; if you scratch you’ll create lesions that will allow them to seep deeper and get trapped in the hair follicles, therefore triggering more pimples.  Wash your hands often if you tend to unconsciously touch your face, lie to rest your chin over your hands or touch your nose often. We do not always realize those little quirks.

Tip # 6: When you exercise make sure to shower right after. When you exercise your body generates heat, and clothes cause friction on the skin. Heat and moisture are trapped on your skin and clothes, creating a perfect breeding ground for bacteria to grow. So, whenever possible, take a shower after exercise.

Effective medicines against acne

Most cases of mild acne can be treated with anti-acne OTC products found in stores and pharmacies. These products have the advantage of not requiring a doctor’s prescription. There is a wide range of products available so there’s a good chance that one of them will be effective for you.  If you start a treatment against acne before the problem becomes too severe, you put all the chances on your side. Severe acne has a serious impact on self-esteem and carries significant emotional and social consequences.  To quickly deal with the problem is the best option.  However, if the situation stretches longer than two weeks despite the use of OTC products, then it’s time to see a dermatologist.

Here is a list of acne treatments most commonly used :

Benzoyl Peroxide: it kills the bacteria that causes acne.

Salicylic acid: It unclogs pores and promotes skin renewal.

Tretinoin (Retin-A ®): Promotes the skin peeling (removing dead skin). The new layer of skin can then breathe better.

Antibiotics: they kill bacteria and reduce inflammation.

Oral contraceptives: They help regulate hormones level. Fluctuating hormones level often leads to an overproduction of sebum from the sebaceous glands, which contributes to the appearance of acne pimples.

The antiandrogens: they suppress the production of the body’s hormones that cause acne.

Isotretinoin (Accutane ®) helps in the treatment of severe cystic or nodular acne.

There are a number of prescription medications that are known to cause acne. If you take any of these medications on a regular basis, it could trigger a burst of uncontrollable acne.  You must then talk to your doctor but keep in mind that your health is a priority. Although acne is unpleasant you must think about your health first and keep taking those medications, even if they bring a few small pimples.
Here are some medications that can cause acne :

The anticonvulsions drugs (such as Dilantin), which are prescribed for the treatment of epilepsy and other type of seizures causing convulsions.  Acne is a side effect for most drugs in this family.

Corticosteroids (eg, prednisone) are often used to treat asthma and other chronic lung diseases. Like cortisol, a natural steroid produced by the body during times of intense stress, corticosteroids can stimulate sebum production and lead to acne.

Disulfiram (Antabuse or) is prescribed to help chronic alcoholic patients who want to remain in a state of forced sobriety. When mixed with alcohol, this drug causes a range of unpleasant symptoms intended to discourage the absorption of alcohol. Unfortunately, the regular use of disultifame can cause acne in some patients.

The immuran, which is an immune-suppressant. Like other immune-suppressants, the immuran is used to suppress the immune system in patients awaiting an organ transplant. It helps to prevent organ rejection, but it can also remove the body’s natural ability to fight the bacteria that cause acne.

INH (or Isoniazid) is typically used to treat tuberculosis. Even if one thinks that tuberculosis has been nearly eradicated there was resurgence in the 1980s, mostly among in the homeless population and some AIDS patients. So it’s still a problem today.

Quinine, which is prescribed as a precaution for the treatment of malaria. If you are traveling in a part of the world where malaria is a risk you may want to ask your doctor if there’s an available alternative for Quinine causes acne.

Some thyroid medications, such as thiourea and thiouracil, are known to trigger acne attacks. These preparations are used to stimulate the thyroid gland in hypo-thyroidal patients. Iodine, which also helps to regulate thyroid function, can also cause acne if absorbed in large quantities.
Acne does not have a single cause!  Yet knowing why we suffer from acne is essential to determine the proper cure.  Since we’re not doctors we should seek help from one if the OTC drugs prove ineffective.  Acne is neither insurmountable nor fatal!

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