You’ve had the most stressful couple of weeks, but you have survived. You managed to hand in your assignments on time; exams are over; you didn’t win the final but you had a great game; you went on your first drive with your parents as a learner driver; you can finally have a social life again. Things could only get better. Or so you thought…
You wake up one morning to find a pimple on the tip of your nose! But it doesn’t stop there. This pimple starts inviting its friends and now you have a whole party of them – and before long you have acne in your hairline at the top of your head and acne around your mouth. Your fight response kicks in and you want to attack them with the only things you have – your two fingers. Stop! Resist this temptation. Instead, here are three acne treatments you can try.
Squeezing and rubbing inflamed pimples can cause more inflammation and damage. It can also increase the risk of scarring. Instead, use acne treatments that aim to unblock hair follicles, reduce oil production, reduce bacteria on the skin and reduce the amount of inflammation.
The right skin cleanser & antiseptic wash
Use a mild, non-soap, non-oily face wash to help control the amount of oil on the skin, will not block the pores and will not irritate the skin such as QV face wash or Cetaphil. An antiseptic wash like pHisohex can also help control the amount of bacterial on the skin that contributes to skin infections. Wash the area affected by acne twice a day and after exercise. Use lukewarm water and pat dry with a soft towel to minimise further irritation.
Benzoyl peroxide, the active ingredient in Brevoxyl, Benzac and Oxy is used for treating mild to moderate acne. It helps reduce the concentration of acne causing bacteria on the skin. Improvement should be seen after 8 to 12 weeks. On the down side, it may cause bleaching of clothing and in some cases may cause skin irritation. If unsure about how to use this product or whether it suits you or if no improvements are seen, speak to your doctor or pharmacist.
Azelaic acid, the active ingredient in Ego AzClear and Finacea Gel, is also used for treating mild to moderate acne. Improvements can start to be seen after 4 weeks but best results are usually seen after 6 months of regular use. Unlike benzoyl peroxide it doesn’t cause bleaching but it may cause hypopigmentation of the skin which may be a concern if you have dark complexion. If no improvements are seen or you are not sure how to use the product or whether it suits you, speak to your doctor or pharmacist.
Acne is a common skin condition that usually starts at puberty but can still occur in your 30s and 40s. Mild to moderate acne can be managed with proper skin cleansers and products containing benzoyl peroxide or azelaic acid. Always speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you are unsure whether the product suits you, if no improvement is seen within four to eight weeks of using a product, if you have any stinging or skin irritation when using the product or if you have severe acne.