Although acne sometimes affects adults too, it is primarily a teenage problem as it surfaces mostly when one reaches puberty. The most common cause of acne is known to be oily skin. The male hormone testosterone that is released at puberty can rise to levels that are higher than what the body requires. The hormone works on oil glands and a series of changes occur:
- There is an increased production of oil.
- The oil comes out on the surface of the skin.
- The skin pores get blocked.
- The entrapped oil is infected with bacteria.
- Pustules, pimples or comedones (black heads) are formed.
Treatment of acne is dependent on the severity of the condition. The first line of treatment is definitely topical, using antiseptic washes containing benzoyl peroxide and other mild acids that are available over the counter. An antiseptic soap also helps if it is used on the affected areas as well as hands to keep the bacteria from spreading. Topical ointments and creams help to dry the skin and kill bacteria. Some creams containing erythromycin and retinoids require a prescription from a doctor.
In severe attacks, the antibiotic alternative is unavoidable. There are herbal antibiotics that help eradicate acne. Herbs like garlic, aloe, acidic fruit extracts have proven antibiotic properties and can help in killing bacteria. They also ensure that oily skin becomes relatively drier. Severe acne often indicates an increased prevalence of bacteria, necessitating conventional oral antibiotics. The most commonly used are listed below:
Over time, the bacteria seem to have become immune to tetracycline and the drug does not produce the desired results anymore. Its derivates, Minocycline and Doxycycline, however are effective in curbing acne.
Treatment for acne can be a prolonged one, and it is imperative that before using these antibiotics you educate yourself about their contraindications and side effects. These are prescription drugs, and a visit to your doctor is a precondition to buy one and understand the correct dosage that you require. Initially, for the first six months your doctor may prescribe higher doses.
Care should be taken while using antibiotics, especially by pregnant women and patients with a history of depression. Gastrointestinal disorders are routine side effects that have to be treated separately.
There are many myths that have been associated with the occurrence and treatment of acne. Acne is actually a condition that is mainly brought about by oily skin and bacterial infection. Antibiotic treatment may be necessary for chronic acne, but there is an alternative approach that you can choose if you want to avoid these antibiotics with their side effects. The body has its own methods of fighting diseases by releasing hormones and other chemicals to counter an invasion by foreign substances. Our lifestyle has a major role to play in our immune system health . A healthy and natural diet that avoids fatty commercial foods in conjunction with appropriate herbs for immune system can help teens and adults alike in preventing acne.