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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.

 

When you are living with acne it can be tough to think about anything else.  Your life revolves around getting rid of and concealing your pimples.  This can make other areas of your life suffer.  For a few folks their acne is so bad that they decide to stop socializing, they lose interest in friends and family and they become depressed.

THERE IS HOPE!
These days there are so many varieties of treatments for acne.  Best of all, doctors understand more of the causes of acne and ways to properly treat it. So you can get back to the fun things in life.

FIRST, HEAL YOUR PSYCHE.
Many sufferers learn to deal with acne because they have to.  Not only do you have to make the blemishes disappear but you also need to heal your mind from the trauma they created in the first place. Talk with your dermatologist; they will help you on the road to recovery.

SECOND, TACKLE THE PHYSICAL SCARS.
Living with acne once meant that you had to live with the scarring that it causes.  When acne gets severe and goes untreated your skin begins to develop pits and scars. These blemishes never depart and can stay on your face all your life.  These days there are things you can do to prevent and treat scarring; special facial treatments have been developed and special products have been developed to cover acne scars.

THIRD, DEVELOP LIFE-LONG HABITS.
Living with acne will be rough.  It has lasting effects on many people. The most effective method to combat acne is to prevent and control it before it gets severe.  Watch your diet, your water intake and most of all go to bed every night with a washed face.  Control that oil!  A soft exfoliating cleanser will help your skin feel refreshed and clean.

 

 

1. Cleanse your face at night

The most important time to wash your face is before you go to bed.  Dirt, bacteria, and makeup left on overnight can irritate skin, clog pores and trigger breakouts. Remove this top layer of grime with a gentle face wash (skin should feel pleasantly tight for 10 to 15 minutes post-cleansing).  Clean skin will allow additional products to penetrate deeper for better results.

2. Be obsessed with the sun

Nothing is more important than wearing sunscreen (ideally, SPF 30) every day if you want younger-looking skin. Even 10 minutes of daily exposure to UVA “aging” rays can cause changes that lead to wrinkles and sunspots in as few as 12 weeks. If your moisturizer isn’t formulated with a built-in broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen, be sure to apply one daily to block both UVA and UVB rays.

3. Use retinol

Research shows that these vitamin-A derivatives speed cell turnover and collagen growth to smooth fine lines and wrinkles and fade brown spots. Be patient, it can take up to 3 months to see noticeable results.

4. Eat omega-3s

These “good fats” in foods such as salmon, flaxseed, and almonds boost hydration, which keeps skin supple and firm. The same isn’t true of the saturated fat in dairy products and meats, which increase free-radical damage that makes skin more susceptible to aging. Limit saturated fat intake to about 17 g daily.

5. Exercise regularly

Studies find that women and men who work out regularly have firmer skin than similar non-exercisers. The reason: Exercise infuses skin with oxygen and nutrients needed for collagen production. To keep your skin toned, make time for at least three 30-minute heart-pumping workouts per week.