Many cases of acne can be very effectively treated with over the counter products, an at-home daily skin care regimen, and the occasional facial at the hands of a professional esthetician.

Some of the more severe cases of acne are best treated with the help of a doctor… more on that later on.

There are three main types of acne:

1. Comedonal Acne -

Comedonal acne is commonly referred to as whiteheads and blackheads, and those are pores clogged with excess skin oil (sebum).

A blackhead is formed when the oil comes in contact with the air, thereby oxidizing and forming a dark substance.

A whitehead occurs when the pore is covered with skin, so that the oil does not come in contact with oxygen in the air and remains white.

This type of acne usually forms in oily skin that has large pores. Perspiration greatly exacerbates the problem.

If you are serious about keeping your skin completely free of acne, I recommend to first and foremost get a facial by a professional esthetician.

The esthetician will do an extraction to clean your congested pores.

The first key to maintaining your skin clear of comedonal acne in the long run is to reduce skin oil by cleansing with facial wash and toner in the morning and before bedtime. This you would do anyway as you keep up with your basic skin care regimen.

In addition, wipe your face clean with with a toner soaked cotton pad whenever your face feels too oily.

Also, once or twice a week, put on a mask that’s formulated to solve acne problems. The mask will absorb excess oils and leave your skin, clean, fresh, and non-shiny.

Using the proper regimen and mask will usually keep your skin clear for months following a facial.

Recommended masks for acne treatment and prevention:
Aroma Purete – Instant Purifying Mask by Decleor <-- Click product links to open a store page.
– or –
Clarifying Mask by Murad

A Woman With a Paper Bag on Her Head Hiding AcneIf you notice the blackheads or whiteheads returning, head back to get a facial once more. But if you keep your at home regimen, the severity of the problem will be greatly reduced at any rate.

Since sweat contributes to the development of acne, it’s important to cleanse and tone your face after activities that lead to perspiration.

If you perspire at the gym for example, use a cleanser and a toner and then take a shower. If you feel your skin is dry after the shower, apply water based moisturizer and eye cream.

Oil based makeup exacerbates acne. Therefore, if you’re using oil based makeup, it would be wise to switch to water based makeup.

Also be aware that fatty foods can contribute to oily skin. Therefore, watching your diet and minimizing junk food can positively impact your skin.

2. Papular Acne -

Papular acne is a progression of comedonal acne and occurs when clogged pores get infected with bacteria. This forms the undesirable pimples everybody hates.

The first measure you should take is go to an esthetician for a facial.

Then maintain your skin by using alpha hydroxy acid pads every night instead of the toner.

Additionally, put on an anti-acne formulated mask once a week only.

Once you see significant improvement in your condition, switch to using alpha hydroxy pads once a week as you exfoliate for your routine regimen.

These are very good pads from Dr. Gross that include alpha-hydroxy acids:
Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel

To get rid of a pimple fast, use a “pimple buster” product:
Clear Skin Blemish Dissolver by Kinerase

Pimple busters are designed to treat small areas of the skin, such as a pimple, with concentrated ingredients, and can often get rid of a pimple within 24 hours.

And of course, since papular acne is a progression of comedonal acne, as with the latter, cleansing after you perspire, switching to water based makeup, and watching your diet, would all help.

If these treatments don’t clear things up, see a doctor, as your acne may be a symptom of a more serious problem such as a hormonal imbalance.

Also, if you’re taking birth control pills, keep in mind that many brands contain large quantities of androgenic progesterone hormone that tends to stimulate skin oil production.

In that caes, ask your doctor about using a low-estrogen pill such as Ortho Tri-Cyclen, a birth control pill that is also FDA approved for acne treatment.

3. Cystic Acne -

This is the most severe acne condition that, unlike the isolated pimples of papular acne, manifests itself as large inflamed clusters across the face and severe infections that often lead to scarring and pockmarks.

The cause of this type of acne is primarily attributed to a genetic predisposition for overactive sebaceous glands, which generate too much pore clogging oil.

If you suspect you have cystic acne, you should see a doctor right away because this condition may lead to scarring.

Medical treatments for cystic acne include oral antibiotics and as a last resort the drug isotretinoin, commonly known by the brand names Accutane or Roaccutane, which decreases the skin’s oil production.

Isotretinoin is very effective, however in some patients it may lead to serious side-effects, and therefore must be taken only under strict supervision of a doctor.

For spot treatment of stubborn cyst, a cortisone shot administered by a dermatologist is also an option. The shot should greatly help diminish the cyst within 48 hours.

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