Acne can be eliminated with the right treatment
Not only adolescents in puberty, but also adults sometimes suffer from severe blemishes and pimples called acne. Many sufferers independently try to get the problems under control, but the choice of the wrong remedies often exacerbates the skin complaints. Here the question arises, which is the right method to permanently eliminate acne.
“Acne is one of the most common skin diseases. Around 85 percent of all Germans have had to deal with blackheads, pimples or pustules in their lives, ”reports the Bremen Chamber of Pharmacists in a recent report. Adolescents and young adults are particularly affected, but women and men around the age of 30 or 40 can also be affected. Proper care is particularly important for successful treatment, although often over-the-counter products can also help. The Bremen Chamber of Pharmacists has explained what types of acne there are and what means of treatment are available.
Oily skin, blackheads and inflammatory nodules
Beginning with puberty, many adolescents have to deal with blemishes and pimples, as the first hormone changes take place during this time, according to the Chamber of Pharmacists. Hereditary disposition can also promote acne. The non-contagious disease of the sebum-rich skin regions is characterized by oily skin, blackheads and inflammatory nodules. In some of those affected, the complaints can still be seen later in life.
Aggressive facial skin cleaning is the most common mistake
According to the Bremen Chamber of Pharmacists, around 60 percent of all those affected have to deal with so-called “physiological acne”. This can often be remedied quickly without medical treatment and with the use of over-the-counter products. “Consultation in the pharmacy helps to find the right remedies. Aggressive cleaning of the facial skin is the most common mistake in acne, ”emphasizes Uta Ense from the Bremen Chamber of Pharmacists in the current release.
There are three main types of acne
- "Acne comedonica", the light form that can be treated independently as part of self-medication.
- "Acne papulo-pustulosa", the medium-weight form, which manifests itself in numerous pustules, nodules and papules with inflammation.
- "Acne conglobata", the heaviest form, with large-scale inflammation that can leave scars.
In addition, there are some other, less common types of acne and, for example, forms caused by drugs or makeup, reports the Chamber of Pharmacists.
The right skin care
In general, affected skin regions should only be cleaned in the morning and evening with pH-neutral and perfume-free soaps or washing lotions and then care for the skin with water-based moisturizers, the expert explains. Over-the-counter ointments, creams, washing lotions and other products for independent acne treatment are available in the pharmacy and, at the same time, those affected are offered expert, individual advice.
Non-prescription anti-acne remedies
The treatment of mild to moderate acne is usually topical, that is to say externally, with keratolytic (slightly peeling) and antibacterial products being recommended in these cases, reports the Chamber of Pharmacists. For example, agents with the active ingredient benzoyl peroxide can be used, which are available in pharmacies without a prescription and can be used for all forms of acne. It should be noted that benzoyl peroxide can bleach colored and dark clothing, hair and bed linen. To avoid stains, old T-shirts and old bedding should be used for the treatment, the expert advises.
The Chamber of Pharmacists also recommends sulfonated shale oils for mild to moderate acne, which are made of ammonium bitumino sulfonate and are said to have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and sebostatic (drying) effects. Zinc can also help as an oral acne therapeutic, since it shows anti-inflammatory and anti-androgenic effects. In addition to these tips from the Chamber of Pharmacists, home remedies for pimples can also help with the less severe forms of acne, which naturally help to alleviate the symptoms.
Severe acne requires a doctor's visit
"If you suffer from severe acne, the best thing to do first is to discuss with the dermatologist which therapy is suitable," emphasizes Uta Ense. Prescription drugs are usually required to treat the severe forms. These range from antibiotics, agents with azelaic acid or progestogens with an antiandrogenic effect, to retinoids to be used orally or externally (for example isotretinoin, acitretin or adapalen). Since retinoids can cause side effects in many cases, clarification with the doctor is required before use. For example, pregnant women and nursing mothers are not allowed to use the product because it can cause fetal malformations, according to the Chamber of Pharmacists. For this reason, a double method of contraception should be used during the application.
Medicines for systemic acne treatment
The experts continue to warn that intensive UV light should be avoided when using topical retinoids. In addition, dry eyes and lips or dry skin may occur during the treatment. A prescription of the retinoids is therefore only rarely considered and when there is high suffering. According to the Chamber of Pharmacists, the following groups of active ingredients are used in most cases for systemic acne treatment with tablets:
- Birth control pills with antiandrogenic properties due to different ingredients (effects always occur in combination with local agents, only after about six months),
- Antibiotics that primarily fight inflammation and have an additional antibacterial effect,
- as well as retinoids.
With contraceptive pills without anti-androgenic properties, however, acne threatens, the pharmacists' chamber warned. It is also important to remember that at the beginning of treatment therapy, the acne often gets worse. But perseverance is worth it, because after a losing streak there is usually a significant improvement, according to the experts.
Nutrition is an essential factor
Since nutrition can also be closely related to the symptoms, this should also be taken into account in acne therapy. Because growth factors and insulin stimulate sebum overproduction, which increases complaints. Milk and whey products as well as "quick" carbohydrates such as sweets, white bread, cola, cornflakes or white rice can also impair the complexion of the skin by stimulating insulin production. Proper nutrition has an important impact on skin health, emphasizes the Chamber of Pharmacists. (fp, pm)