Archives for posts with tag: blackheads

There are a lot of skin care myths out there. To help you weed out what’s true and what’s not true when it comes to skin care, we put together this list of seven skin-care myths your mom probably never told you about:

Myth #1 – acne is caused by poor hygiene and eating certain foods aggravates the condition. First, acne is not caused by dirt. No matter how many times you wash your face and your body, acne may still appear. The cause of acne is an overproduction of sebum, or oil, which clogs the pores. The rate at which the skin on your face produces sebum is not at all affected by dirt. Hormones, stress, pollution and bacteria are some of the culprits behind the appearance of pimples. Additionally, consuming junk foods like chocolate, soda, fried foods and any other oily or greasy foods will not aggravate acne.  Of course, we don’t recommend that you load up on junk food.

Myth #2 – not washing your face often enough can cause blackheads. Many people have blackheads, especially on either sides of the nose. Just like pimples, blackheads are not caused by dirt, so washing your face more often than usual is not the solution. Blackheads appear when the pores become dilated; the cellular buildup leads to oxidation that causes that black color. If you want to steer clear of blackheads, use a good exfoliating face scrub that is suited for your skin type.

Myth #3 – going to a tanning booth is the safest way to add some color to your skin. This is not true at all. Whether it’s natural tanning under the heat of the sun or tanning under the tanning booth, you’re still exposing your skin to UVA rays. Experts agree that this type of exposure can still penetrate deep into the skin and cause damage like premature aging. In effect, you’re also exposing yourself to the risks of developing skin cancers.

Myth #4 – when looking for products that help shield your skin from the rays of the sun, all you need to look for is a higher SPF.  SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, an ingredient that is ever-present in sunscreen lotions. Although a higher SPF will offer protection from ultraviolet rays, the SPF will only work in shielding your skin from UVB rays. There are other kinds of ultraviolet rays, including UVA and UVC, which some sunscreens may not necessarily protect you from. A good compromise would be to choose a product with SPF 15 or higher that contains ingredients that block both the UVA and UVB rays from penetrating into your skin.

Myth #5 – the more expensive a skin care product is, the better it is for your skin.

Myth #6 – a skin care product claims to be natural, it should be 100 percent good for my skin. First, there are no regulations in the market when it comes to using the term “natural.” Therefore, even if the product contains only one herbal ingredient, they can still use the term “natural.”

Myth #7 – dermatologist-tested and hypoallergenic products will work well for any skin type. What causes allergies for one person may not necessarily have the same effect for another person, so the term “hypoallergenic” is quite vague. Observe which products lead you to have breakouts or skin rashes and steer clear of them.

At the end of the day, taking care of your skin is all a matter of choosing the right products and having a good skin-care regimen that you can follow on a daily basis. Now that you know about the top skin-care myths and the truth behind them, you can make an informed decision about how to better care for your skin so that you can have that clear, smooth, and flawless complexion you want.

If over-the-counter acne treatments aren’t working for you, it might be time to visit your dermatologist to have stubborn breakouts treated.  Learn which procedures can help severe cases of acne.

While you can find nonprescription acne washes, lotions, and gels to treat acne sometimes it is not enough to control the problem.  For stubborn or severe acne, here are some procedures that can be performed at a dermatologist’s office:

Extractions (also called acne surgery) help remove pockets of oil and dead skin.   A few different sterile instruments can be used to safely drain whiteheads, blackheads, and small cysts.  Extractions must be done carefully by someone with experience or they can turn a small pimple into a festering boil, which can become infected and take weeks to heal. This is the reason doctors usually recommend that pimples not be squeezed; without the right instruments and technique, you can badly scar your skin.

Large cysts (such as those that result from hormonal breakouts) can be treated with dilute cortisone injections, which shrink the inflammation under the skin, often within a day or two.  The amount of cortisone is very small, but a skilled doctor must do the injection — otherwise it can cause your skin to become pitted.

Acne peels with alpha and beta hydroxy acids can help unclog pores and reduce blackheads, especially if there are lots of little bumps and pimples; dermatologist favor solutions containing salicylic acid and lipo hydroxy acid, which target the oil glands.  Peels generally cause pinkness and flaking for a few days.

Acne laser and photo facial treatments can help kill acne-causing bacteria and shrink pores, although the effect is temporary.  For best results, these treatments are done once every three to four weeks, so they can be very costly. However, there’s little to no recovery time.

 

My face has been LOVING these products!
Before I had been using Proactiv and other products that contain Benzoyl Peroxide, which have worked really well. unfortunately they do leave me with another problem though: dry and flaking skin. My skin gets really dry in the morning (after I’ve cleansed my skin), then a few hours later it gets really oily (its ‘normal’ self). by the end of the day my skin is one hot, flaking mess.so for the last 3 weeks (exactly 21 days now) I’ve added both Coral Actives to my skin care routine. Coral Actives is an acne treatment with a moisturizing formulation: the moisturizing formulation minimizes the traditional side effects of benzoyl periode. while trying out the products, I’ve been focusing on two things: has my occasional acne been improved? Is my skin still dry and flaking?

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In 2005 the FDA provided a public draft guidance document to the pharmaceutical industry on how to develop drugs to treat acne vulgaris, or acne. The draft guidance document contains the FDA’s current thinking on the development of acne drugs and the methods that should be used.  Some of the guidance document information is summarized below. At the time of this writing the FDA document had not been finalized.

Types of Acne Lesions
The two major types of acne lesions are classified as non-inflammatory and inflammatory. Non-inflammatory acne lesions are more commonly known as whiteheads and blackheads. Inflammatory acne lesions include papules and pustules and are more deeply seated in the skin than the non-inflammatory lesions.

How Acne Severity Is Rated
Currently there is no standardized method for rating the severity of acne outbreaks. Several methods have been proposed, but each has its difficulties. A sample scale for rating acne severity is summarized below, from least to most severe:

  • (0)  Clear skin with no inflammatory or non-inflammatory lesions
  • (1)  Almost clear; rare non-inflammatory lesions with no more than one small inflammatory lesion
  • (2)  Mild severity; greater than Grade 1; some non-inflammatory lesions with no more than a few inflammatory lesions (papules/pustules only, no nodular lesions)
  • (3)  Moderate severity; greater than Grade 2; up to many non-inflammatory lesions and may have some inflammatory lesions, but no more than one small nodular lesion
  • (4*)  Severe; greater than Grade 3; up to many non-inflammatory and inflammatory lesions, but no more than a few nodular lesions
    (* worsening beyond Grade 4 is possible).

Acne Drug Treatment Study Groups
Pharmaceutical companies recruit participants to form test groups, which consist of people with similar symptoms who use the medication to test its effectiveness. Acne drug test groups should be large enough to be statistically significant so that any claims of success and safety can be supported. Test patients are usually recruited during their most severe acne breakouts.  Acne drug trials are recommended to be randomized, blinded, multicenter trials, and other requirements will also apply. A control or placebo group should be utilized.  Furthermore, those doing testing should recruit test populations that are representative of the age, race, gender, and geographic location of acne patients in the United States.

Determining The Success Of Acne Drug Treatments
Acne severity is rated at the beginning and end of every test. Photographic evidence and/or lesion counts may also be taken. It is proposed to measure the success of acne medications as either a success or a failure, based on one of these two methods of measuring success:

  1. Success meaning a rating of clear skin or almost clear (severity rating 0 or 1) within the test period; or
  2. Success meaning an improvement of 2 severity grades within the test period. Under this definition, a successful test subject would have a severity improvement from 4 to 2 within the test period, as an example.

The Final Decision On New Acne Drugs
Several phases of testing are recommended for proposed acne drugs. Studies must be designed to account for effects such as test dropouts. Rigorous data analysis must be performed in conformance with FDA regulations. Only acne drug test data that has been validated and undergone quality assurance testing should be submitted to the FDA for approval.  Only through a rigorous and tightly-controlled testing and analysis procedure, followed by FDA approval, can new acne drugs be made available to the public.

There are many factors which contribute to acne. For example, there are hereditary components which affect the severity of an individual’s acne. Simply put, if you have a parent who has suffered from a severe case of acne, the chances that you will also have severe acne are increased. But there are also dietary and sociological factors that contribute to the development of acne, which if changed or eliminated, may prevent an outbreak of severe acne. Because of the many contributing factors, acne myths have proliferated over the years.

Acne Myth Number 1 – Scrubbing and washing the face often will prevent acne.

While dirt may contribute to the formation of blackheads leading to pimples, many people believe that washing your face three or more times a day, or hard scrubbing of the face and skin can prevent acne. Face washing should be done gently, using a mild facial scrub or exfoliant only twice a day. Frequent washing can actually irritate acne breakouts and it strips the skin of its natural oils. This not only makes the skin dry, but can lead to the sebaceous glands increasing oil production to protect the skin surface. Also, scrubbing can cause inflammations. Gentle cleansing, using the lightest possible touch, is best for all-round skin protection.

Acne Myth Number 2 – Fried food, overeating, and chocolate, causes acne to develop.

Diets heavy in fat do have an effect on the body’s sebaceous glands, but science has shown that moderate consumption of fried foods will not cause acne to get worse. In fact, some oils are necessary for the healthy maintenance of the human body and the “acid mantle” that keeps skin moist and supple. In addition, a seeming connection between certain foods such as chocolate and acne may be due to food allergy rather than to the food itself. The notion that any particular food always causes acne is quite false.

Acne Myth Number 3 – Daily stress will cause breakouts of acne.

Routine, daily stress is not considered to be a cause of acne. Severe stress has been shown to have detrimental effects upon many of the body’s systems but its connection to acne breakouts has not been clearly established. More research is needed in this area before anything conclusive can be formulated. One caveat, though, stress medications may have a side-effect of contributing to acne, but if so, this should be discussed with a physician as an alternative medication may not have this effect. In general though, stress is a normal part of life and is not regarded as a major contributor to acne.