Acne Treatment: Discovering Acne's Causes Aids in Finding the Best Treatment

 By: Erik Pearson
In order to find the best acne treatment, its important to understand its causes. According to current research, lack of washing, having dirty skin, and what we eat do not cause acne. On the contrary, acne is caused by increased oil production due to the increase of hormones during puberty. For reasons not fully understood, increased oil levels inside the pore lead to hyper-keratinization, or hardening of the pore.

The oil inside the pore also provides food for acne bacteria, allowing them to multiply rapidly. When the immune system senses the bacteria, it initiates inflammation including symptoms of redness, pain, and swelling.

So, genetics and hormones are at the core of acne; they determine the process described above, and realizing the we don't cause or have control over the process is at the core of effective treatment.

If we think that washing and diet control acne, then we are playing a mind game with ourselves. For example, in an effort to cure our acne, we'll wash more and eat better. If our acne improves, then we'll pat ourselves on the back believing these actions cured us; if our acne gets worse, then we'll try harder believing we didn't wash and/or eat well enough. Whether our acne gets better or worse, our preconceived notions are confirmed; whereas, in reality, random fluctuations in hormones was responsible all along.

Women can take medicine to control their hormones, but men must take medicine that targets one of the four hormone-related causes of acne. As mentioned above, hormones lead to the four causes, or steps in the acne process:

1) Increased oil production
2) Hyper-keratinization if the pore
3) Acne bacteria
4) Inflammation

An effective acne treatment must target one or more of these causes. I'll briefly discuss the main acne treatments and the causes they target:

Benzoyl peroxide is highly effective at killing acne bacteria and has a moderate regulating effect on hyper-keratinization. I'm addition, researchers have found that acne bacteria don't build up a resistance to it like they do to antibiotic creams.

Retinoid creams are highly effective at regulating keratinization and are moderate anti-inflammatories. The main retinoids are adapalene, tazarotene, and tretinoin (retin-A). Of these, researchers have found adapalene to be the most effective with the least side-effects.

A combination of benzoyl peroxide and adapalene is currently considered the most effective treatment available. Unfortunately, you'll need to go to the dermatologist to get the adapalene, but it will be worth it to find a lasting solution... Don't let this huddle stop you; if you're like me, there are times I would have traveled across the global and spent thousands to get rid of my acne.
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