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A guide to acne

Have you ever had acne? Some say it’s the worst house visitor on the planet because it usually arrives uninvited at the most inconvenient of times, it tends to stay longer than expected and when it finally does goes, it leaves a mess on your body that’s very difficult to eradicate. What’s the solution? In this practical acne guide, read and learn how to diagnose, prevent and treat any blemish that comes your way.

Know the Cause

Normally, acne shows up in two ways that are known to practically everyone on the planet or to those who’ve had the misfortune of encountering them. It may appear as soft whiteheads or hard red cysts and when they actually do appear they infect victims by what are popularly called “breakouts”

The most active agent for these breakouts are hormones, in particular the hormone cortisol which literally erupts and causes inflammation to your bodily tissues when you are under stress.

Another well-known cause is the rhythm of the menstrual cycle in women so women should note that for a few days prior to the onset of your period, the levels of estrogen in your body reduce drastically but your testosterone level remain constant

Testosterone is a male sex hormone also known as an androgen which boosts the production of oil in your body. The presence of excess oil blocks hair follicles in your skin resulting in deep, red pimples.

The Pathway for Treatment 

Over-the-Counter treatment

This is your first treatment option available once you realize that you can only succeed to a certain degree in eliminating the milder and non-hormonal breakouts without using a subscription. This initial over-the-counter medication should consist of the following proven treatments:

    • Salicylic acid – this is the medicinal ingredient that gently rubs the skin of the infection which can be found in:
    • Benzac Acne Solutions Intensive Spot Treatment. You should apply 2 percent of the treatment all over your face twice daily.
    • Neutrogena Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne Spot Gel – yet another popular treatment which is touted to have the highest concentration of potency without a subscription.
    • Philosophy’s Clear Days Ahead Oil-Free Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment Cleanser – This is a daily cleanser treatment for the bacterial infection with salicylic acid as the active agent.
    • Benzoyl peroxide – this is another popular treatment which actually combats the bacteria causing the zits.

In your case you should take the most effective medicine listed above as treatment to counteract any zit formation especially on your face.   You simply dab the spot of zit formation with antibacterial treatment such as the Benzac, benzoyl, Neutrogena or the last medicinal treatment. The treatment may take six to eight weeks before any real change in your skin takes place.

What if None of the Above Treatment Works?

If the above treatments fail to cure your condition, you may find it expedient to explore other avenues of medicinal treatment. A list is provided below for your benefit:

Go and see a dermatologist

If breakouts are still occurring after eight weeks of over-the-counter treatment, it may be time to pay a visit to a dermatologist or skin specialist. These experts caution that if you have big angry pimples, the scarring can be prevented if treated early but they can become a permanent part of your skin if they are untreated.

More powerful healing products from the doctor

Usually the normal regimen involves an initial treatment with a benzol peroxide cleanser but doctors also give a more powerful cream product like Aczone. Users of other products like dapsone praise its anti-inflammatory qualities.

Dapsone users claim the medication can be used in combination with other treatments and doesn’t  result in more sun sensitive skin. Yet again, users praise the product for not being unduly dry or irritating to them.

Still, other users recommend the use of benzoyl peroxide with clindamycin (antibiotic that fights bacteria that causes acne), found in Acanya, Benza Clin and ONexton. They say that combining benzoyl peroxide with an antibiotic increases the efficacy of the treatment.

You may also get zapped if you want

There are also high tech remedial treatments such as Isolaz that involves the use of suction to deep clean skin pores without causing harm. The treatment also tends to kill bacteria causing acne and eliminates the redness of affected skin areas thereby preventing breakouts. The treatment is also said to prevent scarring from occurring.

Regulation of your hormones may help you

It you discover that your acne is in fact of the hormonal type, you may need to resort to other medication other than topical products only and this has happened. Sometimes, medication that doctors have prescribed, have nothing to do with acne causation. For instance taking birth control pills have cleared the skins of many women.

How? Well, the pills contain estrogen and progestin which help reduce testosterone levels and prevent breakouts from taking place. However, in some cases taking the pill fail to prevent breakouts and the doctor steps in and prescribe the drug spironolactone that treats hypertension and checks androgens.

The proven drug medication has attracted wide usage, but it’s not recommended if a woman decides to become pregnant. In fact, doctors will only prescribe spironolactone to women of child-bearing age if they are also on the pill.

The big guns option

If you’ve tried the doctor’s acne prescription for a month and you still experience strong breakouts, only one more path is open to you but be warned that the side effects are significant.

The treatment is a drug called Isotretinoin which can help cure almost any type of acne except from hormonal acne. The medication is taken orally and it greatly reduces oil production which reduces acne forming bacteria on the skin and also has an anti-inflammatory effect.

The Side Effects of Isotretinoin

Side effects include flaky skin lips, birth defects of the heart, ear, eye and nervous system.

Extra tips to stay clear of acne


If you want your acne condition to decrease and disappear, you should be choosy with the food and drink you enjoy.

    • dairy products – studies show that your acne condition will improve if you refrain from dairy products
    • processed foods – a recent study found there is correlation between acne and foods such as pasta, bread and white rice.

Never pick your zits!

This is a habit that has serious consequences because it:

    • can spread bacteria
    • may cause fresh outbreaks
    • may lead to permanent scarring

Get rid of blackheads

While many suggestions have been put forward, the easiest and perhaps the best treatment is to us benzoyl peroxide treatment on the spot.

Cover up the breakout like an expert

When you feel a pimple forming up, do this:

    • press it with a cotton swab soaked in witch hazel
    • then one soaked in eye drops solution containing gentle anti-inflammatory solution
    • if pimple is fully developed brush on a mattifying primer.

If you have scarring from acne all you need to do is run an eyeliner brush over a thick concealer and fill the interior part of the scar.


To be infected with acne is a fate that all of us would not take kindly to but if the worse happens and we actually get infected, at least there are ways that we might mitigate its most harmful effect of scarring. Hopefully, this guide will help those affected in taking immediate action to counteract the effects of a breakout as well as the effect of scarring.

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