During puberty, before a menstrual cycle and menopause, there is a hormonal shift. These shifts, increase in androgens, cause an overproduction of oil in the oil cells (sebaceous glands) inside a skin follicle. Together they form a jam that plugs the pore opening causing the follicle underneath to swell. As a result, there’s an overgrowth of bacteria on the skin, which produce irritating chemical substances that cause inflammation. The result is pimples, pus filled lesions and black heads. The skin disease most often affects skin areas with a lot of oil glands. These are the face, neck and upper part of the chest and back.

Symptoms of acne

  • Increased sebum secretion (seborrhea)
  • Pimples
  • Redness around the skin eruptions

Acne treatment

Many treatments exist for acne. Over the counter acne supplements are life savers because they are cheap and convenient to purchase. Prescriptions are expensive and hard to come by if you don’t have medical insurance.They are in three categories.

a33

Hormonal suppressors: they target the production of oil or hormones which trigger an increase in oil production. Skin changes are caused by androgen stimulation. Androgens are sex hormones which trigger an increase   in oil production.

Pore cleansers: they contain benzyl peroxide and salicylic acid. They suppress acne by clearing the jam that forms at the pore opening. If the breakouts are not causing scarring, this may be all the treatment that is needed. Unfortunately, acne builds resistance to medication. The key is to get three over the counter treatments that you like and rotate them after every three months. Prepackaged acne treatment products usually contain benzyl peroxide or salicylic acid or both. Their main advantage is that they come with a recommended regimen which makes it easy to comply with. For effectiveness of any products, it’s crucial to comply with the instructions.

Over the counter vitamin supplements

Over the counter acne supplements do not require prescriptions. Vitamins are considered natural remedies for treating acne. They may also reduce the symptoms of acne. These are over the counter acne supplements for hormonal acne treatment.

Sulfur: It helps in detoxifying the body and ridding it of waste and toxins which clog the pores if allowed to build up.

Vitamin A: Regulates how the skin sheds cells. A build up of dead skin and cells can clog pores and cause blemishes. Vitamin A ensures we shed the right amount of skin to avoid build up. Eating vegetables with beta carotene is a good way of getting vitamin A.

Vitamin K: It is important for blood clotting. Other benefits include: skin elasticity by reducing the appearance of wrinkles and under eye circles. Green leafy vegetables and ale are some sources of vitamin K

Vitamin E : It has antioxidant effects that help protect and repair our skin . It improves the skin elasticity and acne scars. Can be taken as capsules

Saturated fat: Not all saturated fat is bad. Coconut oil is a good example. Using extra virgin or virgin coconut oil topically helps moisturize the skin and reduces the appearance of acne scars.

Citrus fruits are called astringents because they help reduce oil production by tightening pores. Astringents are great for people with oily skin. Lemon, a citrus fruit, helps to kill bacteria, lighten dark spots and improve acne scar appearance. Once applied topically it is recommended that you sit under the sun.

Herbal supplements for treating acne

Herbal supplements contain vitamins A, K, E and sulfur mentioned above from different herbs. They are mostly taken orally in the form of teas or supplement capsules.

Green tea: Because of the antioxidant in green tea called EGCG, it helps reduce and prevent inflammation in blemishes. It also reduces oil production in the skin follicles.

Licorice root; is an anti-inflammatory and can be taken in the form of candy or mixed with aloe Vera to make a skin mask. It also reduces the redness around pimples.

Facial redness is a condition where you have flushing, blushing or redness, especially in the facial area. There are various causes of facial redness. These can be due to rosacea, adult acne, eczema, lupus environmental, emotional or dietary factors. While some causes of facial redness are preventable, others are not. To end facial redness for good, we need to figure out who or what the culprit is.

Rosacea

Facial flushing that comes and goes, maybe a symptom of rosacea. Sometimes the redness is accompanied by heat. Poking the red area with your finger, then letting go causes the area to pale, then return when blood flows into the area. Another symptom is visibility of blood vessels.

a32

The treatment: over the counter anti-inflammatory lotions that contain licorice are beneficial after topical applications. Prescription treatments include Oracea, Metrogel cream or Finacia. Laser therapy can heal visible blood vessels. Triggers of rosacea are chili, hard cheeses, red wine sun and heat. Use of green colored moisturizer or foundation helps cover the broken veins.

Menopause:

Most women experience flushing or blushing during menopause. It can help to wear light clothes, lose weight if overweight and exercise regularly. Possible triggers to be avoided would be stress, spicy food, caffeine, smoking and alcohol.

The treatment: clonidine a hormone replacement therapy helps reduce menopausal hot flashes.

Contact Reactions

Irritant contact dermatitis may be caused by benzoyl peroxide and alpha hydroxy acids. This reaction causes a red and itchy skin.

Sensitive contact dermatitis happen if the immunes react to an element and causes a red and itchy complexion. The difference is that irritant contact dermatitis are immediate while allergic contact dermatitis takes several days to show.

Treatment: Figure out what is new in your facial routine and stop doing it or applying that product. The redness can be treated with an over the counter topical steroid like hydrocortisone cream. If symptoms persist, have a patch test done to determine the cause.

Adult Acne

When hormonal changes occur, oil production increases on the cells causing acne. Some Symptoms of acne are pimples and facial redness around the bumps. Menstruation, pregnancy and some oral contraceptives may cause adult acne. Facial redness is experienced where the lesions and pimples are because of swelling and inflammation.

Treatment; Spironolactone may be prescribed by the doctor if the acne is made worse by the hormones. Accutane may be recommended too. They are anti- androgens which lower or block the androgen production.

Lupus

Facial redness in lupus is a rash that takes the shape of a butterfly on the skin. This happens on the nose and cheeks. This autoimmune disease causes inflammation in various body parts causing fatigue achiness and low grade fever.

Treatment: The treatment requires topical steroids and immune suppressants. Basic anti- inflammations drugs help reduce the facial redness.

The key to treating ending facial redness for good is making sure you know the cause. If you aren’t sure consulting a doctor or have an allergist carry out a patch test. With conclusive results, a treatment can be recommended.

Being the eighth global disease means that acne affects many people in the world. Acne occurs when the pores of the skin are clogged. Under the pore, a follicle has a hair and a sebaceous gland. The function of the gland is to produce sebum which keeps your skin soft and help remove dead skin cells.

Hormonal changes cause the glands to overproduce sebum. This over production causes the pore to be plugged. When the pore becomes blocked, bacteria and dead cell buildup. The blockage is called a plug and its either white or black, hence the names blackheads and whiteheads.

Causes of acne

Anyone is susceptible to acne even babies. Causes of acne:

  • Dirt clogs the pores and if not cleaned, pimples start to form.
  • Cosmetics that clog pores. Water based cosmetics or products do not cause acne
  • Androgenic reaction to hormonal changes. These changes are experienced by men and women during puberty, menstruation, menopause and pregnancy.
  • Sweating can cause clogging of pores because exercise triggers oil production. Acne mechanica occurs when there’s heat and friction.
  • Intake of drugs like steroids causes increased production of oil.

ACNE TREATMENTS

Acne is basically hormonally driven. Most acne treatments that work is either targeted towards unclogging the pores or hormonal regulation.

Pore cleansers; they treat acne by preventing the blockage that happens in the pores. They are over the counter treatments therefore don’t need a prescription. They have benzyl peroxide and salicylic acid which kill bacteria, dry up skin oils or cause the top layer of the skin to peel. Pore cleansers are rotated after several months to prevent development of resistance by acne to one treatment. Zeno is an FDA approves ‘zit zapper’ which uses body heat to kill bacteria. This only works for mild acne.

Oil and hormonal regulation: most of these products prevent or suppress production of androgens which trigger oil production. Aldactone is an anti-androgen drug that targets androgens. It can be used by both middle aged and teenage girls.

Using supplements and vitamins for hormonal acne are another effective way to fight and prevent blemishes as they reduce inflammation, redness, oily skin, and also keep our skin smooth and glowing. Some of these include fish oil, vitamin A, pantothenic acid, niacin, and n-aceytl-cysteine which is a powerful detoxifier as it is a natural form of sulfur.

Prescription acne treatments that work

When over the counter acne treatments don’t work the dermatologist can recommend the following:

Antibiotics are both oral and topical.

Oral antibiotics: oral antibiotics are taken by mouth. Oracea is an oral antibiotic that has a low dose of doxycycline and a high dose of the anti- inflammatory component. This is a new approach to acne treatment which targets inflammation causing an improvement in the appearance of acne. Minocycline amoxillin, tetracycline and doxycycline are some of the common oral antibiotics.

Topical antibiotics: they are applied to the skin. Creams and gels that can be applied to skin are:

  • For mild acne, clindamycin and Dapsone are ingredients in creams that are recommended
  • Sulfur, benzoyl acid and salicylic acid being the active ingredients in most acne treatment drugs, can be converted to creams which are prescribed by the doctor.
  • azaelic acid
  • Retinoic acid comes from a class of Retinoids found in beta carotene. In the form of a gel or cream, it can be used topically. Prescribed for stubborn acne, Retin A and Accutane contain retinoic acid

Topicals and antibiotics work by suppressing breakouts. In case of cystic acne the only course of treatment may be to shut down the oil production. If your skin is scarring, then you have stubborn acne. For aggressive acne treatment that works, Isotretinoin, otherwise called Accutane, is used. It shuts down the oil production and hence stops the breakouts.

Acne occurs in areas of the skin with many oil glands. These are the face, neck, upper part of the chest and neck. Bacon is acne on the back. Backne is caused by acne and clogged sweat glands. High testosterone levels trigger an androgenic response which causes acne breakouts. Increased circulation and heat caused by exercise increases the production of sebum.

Causes of Backne :

  • Hormonal changes increase the production of oil in the glands.
  • Friction and hot, humid days: Acne mechanics when there’s friction and heat. Most athletes experience this because they move and sweat a lot. Back pimples are bound to form when pores are blocked.
  • Some acne is hereditary. Unfortunately, if your parents have oily skin or pimples, you will get the same skin type.

Backne occurs often in men than women. It is aggravated by perspiration. It is recommended that daily use of a mild exfoliate and a back scrubber be used to remove dead skin cells.

Backne Treatments That Works

Treatments may vary from one person to another. Here are some of the proven backne treatments:

Over the counter benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid: are great for killing bacteria, drying up the skin oils and may cause the top layer (dead skin cells) to peel off. The most effective topical bacne treatment is the Body regimen. It uses a combination of 2.5 % benzoyl peroxide and 10% glycolic acid. Despite the ingredients, effectiveness is also in adhering to the regimen instructions.

a31

Astringents: are substances that contract the skin tissues by absorbing fats and drying water. Citrus fruits such as lemon have astringent qualities. When used as an acne treatment, it dries the fats and dries the water in the cells thereby killing bacteria. A good example of an astringent is apple cider vinegar. It works well with preventing and getting rid of backne. Vinegar contracts and firms the skin promoting healing. Acetic acid in vinegar breaks down oils and bacteria that cause backne. During periods of acne the pH levels of your skin are higher. Acetic acid in vinegar lowers the pH levels, making it difficult for bacteria to form and grow.

As a home remedy it is easy to make and use. Here is the regimen:

  • Week 1: Add vinegar to water in 1:8 proportions with one part being vinegar
  • Week 2: 2:7 to 2 part vinegar and 7 parts water

Continue increasing the proportions of vinegar until the mixture becomes 1: 3 with one part being vinegar and 3 parts being water. This is the most powerful concentration recommended. The skin should be eased gradually to the use of vinegar. Caution should be taken when using vinegar: never use astringents more than twice a day, and never use too much vinegar or only vinegar. Moderate use of vinegar will prevent acetic acid from affecting your skin adversely.

Herbs and essential oils: there are several herbs that are recommended for acne treatments.These herbs are aloe Vera, licorice and Calendula. While aloe vera has many vitamins, proteins and minerals it also contains natural salicylic acid. Calendula and licorice kill bacteria and have anti-inflammatory effects. Essential oils such as Tea tree oil have effects similar to benzoyl acid.

Vitamins: the best vitamins for backne are vitamin B5 ,A and B3. Minerals and amino acids like selenium and NAC are essential n treating acne. NAC contains sulfur which helps in detoxifying and getting rid of wastes. Acnetame is an over the counter supplement that has all these minerals and vitamins.

Pimples are the androgenic response to increase in oil production in the skins’ sebaceous gland. Pimples are a symptom of acne. When most people get pimples, they turn to over the counter pimple pills because they are cheap and convenient to purchase. Given that there are very many ingredients that treat one cause of acne or the other, it is important to find one product with several ingredients which best treat acne.

Active Ingredients

The main over the counter pimple pills that work contain the following ingredients:

These are ingredients that attack the root causes of pimples.

Salicylic acid: also known as Beta hydroxy acid. Dead cells on the surface of skin causes clogged pores. Salicylic acid removes the dead cells, i.e. exfoliation. The clogged pores cause blackheads or whiteheads. It is available in creams, gels, washes and scrubs.

Benzoyl peroxide; It helps eliminate pimples by killing bacteria that cause acne. It reduces acne flares when used daily. The strength of benzoyl peroxide varies from 2-10 %. However, concentrations above 2.5 do not increase effectiveness.

a30

As acne becomes resistant to medication over time, some doctors use clindamycin (which also attacks bacteria) with benzoyl peroxide to prevent bacteria from growing. It is recommended that you find two to three over the counter pimple pills that work and rotate them after using for a few months.

Sulfur: comes in the form of an amino acid called NAC (N-Acetyl-Cystein) it is a powerful detoxifier. It gets rid of wastes and toxins in our bodies whose build up would cause pimples. It works by suppressing the bacteria that cause pimples

Inactive Ingredients

The above named ingredients are active ingredients. They attack the root causes of pimples either bacteria, clogged pores, dead cells or oil glands. However, there are inactive ingredients that support the active ingredients to work more effectively.

These are:

Alpha hydroxy acids: work similar to salicylic acid by exfoliating the top layer of the skin. They are available in cleansers, creams and lotions.

Retinol: Is a derivative of vitamin A that works by unclogging pores and makes the skin appear brighter. Retinoids are a class of chemicals which stops the secretion of sebum from the oil glands. Beta-carotene is the source of vitamin A in colored vegetables.

Vitamin C: Apart from boosting immunity, it is an antioxidant, which helps keep our skin clear. It prevents free radicals that cause harm to the skin and reduce redness around lesions and pimples.

Selenium is an antioxidant and improves the elasticity of the skin. It is better at treating scars than vitamin E. Sources of selenium are whole foods such as fish, nuts and poultry.

Zinc is a mineral that slows down the production of sebum from the oil glands. Overproduction of oil causes pimple breakouts.

Natural or herbal ingredients may have similar qualities but the treatment of pimples is very slow.

The best over the counter pimple pills are those that are a stack of well rounded ingredients. The better the ingredients the better the results of the pimple pills. Acnetame is an over the counter pill with most of the ingredients named above. Should the over the counter pimple pills refuse to work for your pimples after four to five weeks, you should consult a dermatologist.