Acne and pimples

Self Help Measures

Time is the only real cure in most cases of adolescent acne, but these tips can help:

Keep your skin clean. Using a clean washcloth every time, work the soap into your skin gently for a minute or two and rinse well.
Use a soap-free face wash or ask your doctor for the name of a good acne soap. Try an astringent lotion, de-greasing pads.
Use an over-the-counter lotion or cream that has benzoyl peroxide. (Some people are allergic to benzoyl peroxide. Try a little on your arm first to make sure it doesn’t hurt your skin). Follow the directions as listed.
Wash after you exercise or sweat.
Wash your hair at least twice a week and keep it off your face.
Keep the hair off the face and wash the hair daily if needed.
For men: Wrap a warm towel around your face before you shave. This will make your beard softer. Always shave the way the hair grows.
Don’t spend too much time in the sun and use an oil-free sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more.
Use only water-based makeup. Don’t use greasy or oily creams, lotions, or make- ups.
Leave your skin alone! Don’t squeeze, scratch, or poke at pimples. They can get infected and leave scars. Do not squeeze blackheads. The blackhead may be pushed deeper into the skin, possibly cause the follicle to rupture, and as a consequence make the acne worse.
Keep hands away from the face and thus avoid friction of the skin. Some suggestions are:
1. Don’t prop your hands against your face
2. Don’t `scrub’ the face when washing
3. Don’t rub the face
4. Avoid perspiration around the face as much as possible.
When self-care is not enough, you need to go see a doctor. Who may prescribe one or more of the following according to the patient’s needs.

Note: Do not take these medications without the doctor’s advice.

Antibiotics

1. Antibiotic creams and lotions are for application to the acne-affected areas of the body.These may lose efficacy over time.
2. Oral Antibiotics are given in a course of a few to several months.
Some side effects include (apart from the mostly minor side effects due to the antibiotic itself), loss of effectiveness in preventing acne after a period of time and occasional fungal infections.

Vitamin A preparations

1. Retin A cream or gel are quite effective in some patients, but they can be very drying and skin becomes very sensitive to the sun. They can be used in lower concentrations if these side effects occur.
2. Roacctane oral capsules are prescribed by the doctor in some cases of severe adult acne. They a given in a course of several months.
Roacctane is a highly teratogenic medicine, that is, it causes birth defects in fetuses of women who become pregnant while taking this medicine. Therefore pregnancy during this treatment is absolutely contraindicated. There are other parameters that have to be fulfilled before this treatment is prescribed.