Acne is an age-old problem that many people remember as a sort of rite of passage into adulthood. It’s true that acne tends to be more prevalent among teenagers. All those surging hormones do not course through the veins without disrupting at least a few aspects of life! The thing about acne is that this problem can cause permanent scars, both physical and emotional. It is important to approach acne with a strong objective for a successful resolution to prevent this.
Treating acne often begins at home. There is no reason not to expect improvement in dermatologic health with the use of the right products. This doesn’t mean expensive products, just those that have the right ingredients. Some that are commonly seen in acne facial cleansers and spot treatment creams include:
- Salicylic acid. This is a type of beta hydroxyl acid that works to prevent pore-clogging by diminishing the production of sebum, or oil, on the skin. Another objective that is met with salicylic acid is exfoliation. Too many damaged and dead cells on the skin’s surface mean too much debris, and too much debris settles in pores to exacerbate an ongoing problem.
- Benzoyl peroxide. Acne is somewhat of a bacterial problem. The bacterium P. acnes is a normal inhabitant of the skin. When bacteria get into the pores, and those pores become blocked, no oxygen gets in. It’s like a houseful of teens with no parental supervision. Party Time! Benzoyl peroxide is the parent – oxygen – that breaks up the accumulation of party-throwing bacteria that clog and irritate pores.
- Nicotinic acid, or niacinamide (or nicotinamide). This ingredient is a form of vitamin B3 that is soothing to irritated tissue and also has a moisturizing effect. At the same time, nicotinic acid diminishes sebum production, so pores are less likely to become clogged.
Over-the-counter acne products may work to stop flare ups and to prevent severe inflammation. If results are not adequate within a few weeks, prescription treatment may be necessary. Do not hesitate to call your dermatologist in mid-town Manhattan for help. Schedule your visit with Dr. Quintana at 212-391-8600.