Acne treatment is a broad category with dozens of options for each and every person. Having acne on the face and body is both embarrassing and difficult to live with. Anyone from 12 to 40 and beyond can suffer from acne, and it isn’t caused by being unhygienic either.

The Basics of Acne

Acne typically happens during adolescence when hormones are going haywire and the body overproduces oil. The oil then clogs your pores and causes inflammation and redness. The trapped bacteria can fester or dry up depending on how it is treated. There is a difference between pimples and acne cysts. Pimples will come and go quickly, while cysts are deep and painful and often very large. An individual that has many acne cysts on a regular basis is said to have cystic acne.

Cystic acne can be treated in females with the help of birth control pills if she is the right age to take them. They regulate hormones and help treat medical conditions like Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. PCOS can cause severe cystic acne in adolescent and adult females. Of course to fully treat cystic acne topical treatments are needed alongside an internal treatment.

Males with cystic acne can take herbal remedies to treat the appearance of the condition and combat hormones and bacteria.
Regular acne can be treated easily by finding the right topical treatment for your skin. Remember that no two people are alike and while benzoyl peroxide may work for one person, it may not work for another.

Normal Acne:

Normal Acne

As you can see the acne is made up of blackheads and small pimples spread over the face. This is easily treated with topical ointments and a good regimen.

Cystic Acne:

cystic acne
Close up photo of nodular cystic acne skin

This acne is made up of large painful bumps that are deep under the skin. You can see crusting on many of them, and bleeding when they burst. Often times it takes deep gauging to pop this, which makes the condition even worse for those affected. They usually leave deep scars that may or may not fade.

Acne Topical Treatments

There are dozens of treatments and methods for treating normal acne. A good cleanser with an anti-bacterial ingredient such as salicylic acid is important. This cleanser will disinfect the skin and keep acne from spreading or getting worse. After cleansing your skin twice a day, apply a topical ointment made from an anti-acne active ingredient.

This can range widely from salicylic acid to benzyl peroxide and even sulfur. After applying a targeted treatment cream or gel, you must use a moisturizer. Acne topical treatments dry the skin which can cause your body to produce even more oil, which will only make acne worse. Using an oil free moisturizer will balance the skin.
Here are some active ingredients to look for:

Salicylic Acid: This acid is used in most over the counter treatments. Products will usually contain about 1.5% of the acid to 2.5% of the acid. The most effective level is 5% but it is hard to find quality products containing 5% of the solution. Salicylic acid is strong and those sensitive to peroxide can use it safely.

Salicylic acid

Benzoyl Peroxide: This is an old fashioned ingredient that is very common and used in high concentrations in over the counter treatments and even prescribed treatments. However many people are very sensitive to it and it can cause serious allergic reactions. If you use something with benzyl peroxide as an active ingredient, be sure to do an allergy test under your chin or on your jaw line.
Benzoyl Peroxide
Alpha Hydroxy Acid and Beta Hydroxy Acid: These acids are great for those suffering from adult acne. They help by exfoliating dead skin and healing the skin. They also combat early signs of aging, so you do two things at once.

Retinol and Retinoids: Many retinol products are only available from a dermatologist. However there are high quality products out there that contain retinoids that will heal your skin. They are powerful anti-agers so those suffering from adult acne can benefit from using them. Even if you are a young adult, retinoids are great to fight against even cystic acne.

vitamin A

Coconut Oil: Natural organic coconut oil is a soothing treatment for those that suffer from all types of acne. It is moisturizing but not pore clogging. It heals deep blemishes within days and is a potent antimicrobial ingredient. It is also affordable. If nothing else has worked for you, try coconut oil.

coconut oil

Sulfur: This is a natural and tough acne fighter, but some people are allergic to sulfur. If you are not sensitive to this smelly ingredient, then it can heal acne fast. It penetrates deep in the skin and has strong anti-bacteria properties.
Sulfur for Acne
Niacinamide or B3: This is a naturally vitamin derived ingredient that can be found in many higher end acne treatments. B3 is a magical topical treatment that not only fights wrinkles and aging, but heals acne and the scars left behind. It is a strong fighter against cystic acne as well. It may cause flushing of the skin for a few hours but most people experience no adverse reactions to using niacinamide and its derivatives on the skin.

Sources of vitamin B3 – Niacinamide

Acne Treatment For Dry Skin

dry skin care.

Treating dry skin affected by any type of acne is a tricky process. Often times allowing skin to remain dry will make acne worse. There is also the factor of peeling or dry patches on top of acne marks. To combat these problems then follow the regimen below:

• Wash your face once per day with a gentle cleanser. An active acne fighting ingredient is not necessary.

• Apply a topical treatment such as Alpha Hydroxy Acid, or Niacinamide. These are not as drying as other ingredients.

• Top with a rich moisturizer that heals skin. Coconut oil is recommended, as well as jojoba oil. Coconut oil fights acne and moisturizes deeply, while jojoba moisturizes and heals scar tissue.

• In the morning use sunblock of at least 30 SPF and a moisturizer. This will keep your sensitive skin from becoming more inflamed.

Acne Treatment For Oily Skin

oily skin care.
Four stages of oily skin care.

Oily skin requires a different regimen than dry skin does. Oil is hard to counteract, even with the most expensive products. Oil production keeps pores clogged and allows acne to spread. Follow the example regimen below to combat acne for oily skin:

• Wash your face twice per day with a non-drying face wash. Choose something with an active ingredient that fights acne.

• Apply a topical treatment twice per day that has an active acne fighting ingredient. Anything that you are not sensitive to should work just fine.

• Top with an oil free moisturizer in the evening and massage it in thoroughly with clean hands.

• In the morning wear SPF with no oil of at least 30SPF, and apply a mattifying treatment to combat oil production.

• You may want to consider a diet change to include more fruits and vegetables and less junk food. Junk food alters the hormones in the body and can cause higher oil production.



End Notes

Acne treatment is never a cookie cutter scenario. Many products out there have the potential to clear your skin but everyone has different needs. It is recommended that you learn what type of skin you have so that you can choose products that will work the best for you. Taking vitamins and following a strict skincare routine will clear your skin fast and prevent scarring from occurring. Remember that you are not the only person out there suffering from mild to severe acne, and that it is treatable!