Four Topical Treatments for Acne Skin Care

Acne, or pimples, is an annoying condition that occurs when hair follicles in the face get blocked, allowing bacteria to grow. There are many misconceptions about acne. One of the most common is that acne is the result of poor hygiene habits. Some people who believe this actually make their acne worse by scrubbing their faces hard and irritating the skin. Other myths about acne include the idea that acne is caused by stress, and the idea that one's diet contributes to acne.

Perhaps the most painful and untrue myth is that acne should be allowed to run its course untreated. In fact, there is no reason why anyone should continue to suffer with acne. Dermatologists have many acne skin care treatments, both topical (to be rubbed on the skin) and oral (to be taken by mouth) that can help clear up acne outbreaks. This article examines the four most popular topical acne skin care treatments.

Acne Skin Care Treatment #1: Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl Peroxide is perhaps the most commonly used treatment for acne. The user should gently wash his or her skin and either pat it dry or allow it to air dry (no scrubbing). Then the Benzoyl Peroxide is applied to the affected areas. Benzoyl Peroxide typically takes several months to work. Some users stop using it too soon due to unpleasant side effects: most commonly, drying and irritation.

Acne Skin Care Treatment #2: Tretinoin

Tretinoin should be applied to the affected areas every night at bedtime. Typically, users see improvement in two or three months. Side effects include dry, irritated skin and sensitivity to light. Some users are dismayed to find their acne getting worse after using the product. This is a common initial reaction and should subside within a few weeks.

Acne Skin Care Treatment #3: Adapalene (Differin)

Like the other topical medications, Differin is applied to dry skin. Users can expect to see results in eight to twelve weeks. Differin has been linked with some of the same side effects listed above (e.g., sensitivity to light, initial flare-up of acne, etc.), however most users report that of the topical medications, it is the least irritating to the skin.

Acne Skin Care Treatment #4: Tazarotene

Tazarotene should be applied only to dry skin. It is recommended that users gently wash and dry their faces and then wait about twenty or thirty minutes before applying the cream. Results can be expected in six to eight weeks. Like the other topical medications, Tazarotene may cause redness, irritation, sensitivity to light, etc.

There is no reason why anyone should have to suffer from untreated acne when numerous products that can help clear up a breakout are available. If you have acne, do yourself a favor and make an appointment to see a dermatologist as soon as possible.