Categorized | Acne

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Acne Treatment – From Mild to Severe Acne

There are many different types of acne treatment products. Some are available by prescription only. Others can be purchased in department stores, grocery stores or drug stores. Before you spend your hard earned money on acne treatment products, it’s best to understand the different types of acne.

Generally, acne is placed into one of three categories: mild, moderate or severe. Acne can occur on nearly any part of the body, including the face, neck, back, arms, and legs. The acne treatment for each category varies greatly and may include the use of cleansers, toners, astringents, vitamin therapy, light therapy, prescription medications, or a combination of these.

For reasons no one completely understands, follicles (or pores) sometimes become blocked with sebum (oil). When sebum is trapped beneath the skin’s surface, a closed comedone develops. This type is commonly referred to as a “whitehead.” When the sebum is exposed to air, it darkens into an open comedone and is referred to as a “blackhead.” When comedones become infected with bacteria, swelling, redness and pus develop. This form is commonly referred to as a pimple or “zit.” These sac-like lesions contain liquid consisting of dead cells, bacteria and white blood cells. Sometimes these lesions turn into nodules, which extend into the deeper layers of the skin.

Acne severity ranges from comedones to nodules and cysts. Mild acne is when a person occasionally has a few pimples. Acne falls into the moderate category when comedones cover approximately half of the face. Acne is considered severe when comedones become deep, inflamed and cyst-like. This form of acne can be very painful and cause tissue destruction which results in scarring.

Mild acne is generally treated with over-the-counter creams that incorporate benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. People with moderate acne are generally treated by a dermatologist. Therapy may include prescription antimicrobial ointments, retinoid creams or oral medications. If left untreated, moderate acne can quickly turn into severe acne.

Severe acne is the most difficult type to treat. Not only does this type cause damage to the skin, which can result in scarring; severe acne can also lead to psychological and emotional trauma. Many people with severe acne experience feelings of sadness, depression and embarrassment.

In the case of severe acne, dermatologists generally will use very aggressive treatments. Therapy usually involves the use of oral antibiotics and medications such as Accutane; corticosteroid injections; or acne surgery to drain cysts.

Acne treatment [] requires patience, as it usually takes between six to eight weeks of therapy before visible signs of improvement can be seen. While it may be tempting to use over-the-counter products, individuals with moderate or severe acne should consult with a medical professional to determine the proper acne treatment program. Using the wrong acne treatment can lead to wasted time, wasted money, and frustration. Consulting with a trained professional can shorten your healing time and save you money.

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