There is nothing that can make someone more self-conscious than bad acne. There are stages in a person’s life when acne can be expected, but that does not make it any easier to handle. In fact, that time when teenagers are feeling most insecure about themselves is commonly when acne seems to be at its worst. There are some who escape with only a mild case of acne, barely noticeable, but there are many who experience acne outbreaks periodically throughout adolescence. For those who suffer with bad acne it can be very frustrating, and the consequences of not being able to control breakouts can lead to scars that can last physically and emotionally forever.
If you have ever had terrible outbreaks, you know that you will do just about anything to get rid of them. The problem is that there is no one cure for everyone. There are some things that will work on one person, and others that will not work at all. It can be a long involved process of trial and error, and it seems as if everything takes so much time. If your acne has gotten out of control, there are certain things that you can do — some being more drastic than others — to try to get your skin condition under control. The problem is that it is going to take some time and patience, two things that most teens are not good with.
The First Steps To Take
The best way to tackle the zit issue is by taking it step by step. You should begin with the quickest and easiest fix first, and when all else fails, pull out the big guns. Some skin conditions need some simple steps to contain acne. If you have not tried the following suggestions, you should start off simple:
- Wash your face with face wash (not regular soap) and water twice a day
- Exfoliate weekly
- Keep hands clean and off of your face
- Wash your pillow case every other day
- Try pure lemon juice to tighten the pores
- Use over-the-counter medications
- Change your diet
- Try to get more rest at night
By keeping your face clean, you can minimize the amount of oil that is produced on the top layer of the skin. Dirt and oil clog up pores making them become inflamed, and it is this inflammation that causes acne breakouts. Be careful, however, if you wash your face too frequently as you can cause your skin to excessively dry out. It is also possible that your skin being too dry, can lead to breakouts. That is the most frustrating part — finding a happy medium that is not too dry and not too oily. It becomes like a science experiment — a very stressful science experiment.
Some of the worst saboteurs of clear skin can be stress and exhaustion, two things that are almost impossible to avoid at any age, but especially through the adolescent years. Stress and exhaustion contributes to an increase in hormones which will affect the skin, and at a time when hormones are already running wild, it can be a recipe for disaster. Try to de-stress and get some rest.
Some over the counter medications work well with some individuals. Again, you have to be careful. Even the best over the counter acne treatment can dry out the skin for some people, which can lead to more breakouts. It is best to start out using them only every other day for desired results. If you notice that your skin is excessively dry, leading to more breakouts, stop using them all together. Another remedy that has been passed down through generations is lemon juice. By applying lemon juice to your skin, you are shrinking the pores and closing them off from dirt and oil. Sometimes so little can have big results.
What If The Simple Things Don’t Work?
If none of the simple changes seem to make any difference, there are ways that you can combat bad acne that are more aggressive. Many prescription medications have shown great effect on acne. They do not come without side effects, some which can be very serious, so weighing the consequence of your acne problem against the consequence of any potential side effect is important. The best way to tackle a pimple problem that is not resolved through simple means is to visit your dermatologist. They may decide to prescribe one of the following prescription medications:
- Benzoyl Peroxide
- Hormone Therapy
Again, all of the above medications have their own consequences. Accutane has been linked to depression, and birth defects. It is one of the more serious of the drugs that you can take to clear up those ugly zits. Antibiotics usually do a fair job at tackling the problem, but long term use is always questionable. Retin-A is contained in many acne medications because it has a very high efficacy rate. It can, in some people, cause excessive dryness and makes the skin very sensitive to sun exposure. For girls, the birth control pill has been found to decrease acne breakouts by leveling out their hormone surges. Again, you need to really outweigh the problem of any acne condition with the seriousness of the medications that are taken.
The teen years are always a time of turmoil, which usually has consequences to skin. The best advice for anyone with bad acne is to try not to stress out about it. Don’t eat the foods that will cause it to get worse, try to get some rest, and be religious about washing your face and using an over the counter acne treatment — sound advice, but not always easy to follow. If you have tried everything under the sun (and actually used the products as intended), then it may be time to seek help from a Dermatologist.