You can find modern drugs that very well treat all symptom of acne: Fatty deposits clogging the pores (comedones), infection by bacteria, inflammation, tissue damage and scarring. These products can be made of wholly natural ingredients, pharmacologically synthetic chemicals or a blending of both.
They can broadly be divided in topical rinsing media, topical treatment creams and oral pills. If you need products in one, two or all tree categories, depends upon the seriousness and nature of the acne attack. The consistencies of the products vary very much and the producents often use their own terminology to name the products.
There are several types of rinsing products to choose from.
The simplest of these are acne treatment bars to be used by the daily wash. These bars contain substances soluted in the soap that can help to dissolve the plugs in the pores and substances that fight bacteria.
Then you have rinsing solutions, usually called acne wash or acne cleansers, especially made to dissolve the comedones in your pores, and to make the environment in your skin unfriendly to bacteria causing infection. Some of these products are meant to rinse your skin with one or more times a day after the regular wash and then to be flushed away. Others are meant to remain on your skin until the next regular wash.
If your skin is heavily clogged by comedones or the acne process has produced heavy amounts of fatty deposits on your skin you can occasionally use stronger rinsing media, called acne peels or acne shrubs. With these media you can dissolve and shrub away the stuff clogging the pores, and also take away excessive horny layers and hard fatty deposits that make your skin surface irregular. These media contain strong dissolving substances and mineral powders with an abrasive effect, and should be used cautiously so that you do not hurt your skin.
ACNE TREATMENT GELS OR CREAMS
After the wash or rinsing, you can apply some treatment product that shall remain on your skin during the day or during the night. Many of these products are also good as foundation for make-up. The products have varying physical consistency and are often called acne lotions, acne creams or acne gels. The products have these effects:
Making your skin soft and elastic.
Protecting your skin against the environment.
Acting further to dissolve the clogging of your pores.
Alleviating inflammation and soothing itching or burning sensations.
Killing the bacteria causing infection or making an environment hostile for the bacteria.
Stimulating the skin to clean itself from within.
Stimulating the skin to heal.
To be used as a isolating layer between the skin itself and cosmetics
ORAL DRUGS OR SUPPLEMENTS
You can also find drugs to be taken by mouth against acne. Many of these drugs kill the bacteria infecting the skin by acne. Others are designed to give a broader range of effects, like:
Making your skin produce more fluid sebum so that the comedones dissolve from within.
Stimulating the immune system to fight bacteria and to clear out impurities in the skin tissues.
Stimulating your skin to heal.
Giving your skin building nutrients necessary to heal.
NATURAL INGREDIENTS USED IN ACNE TREATMENT PRODUCTS
In modern acne treatment drugs natural ingredients are extensively used because many of these often give less side effects than syntetic pharmacological substances.
– Aloe Vera extract, Viola tricolor extract and Rose hip oil, are often used in oral and topical products to reduce inflammation and to stimulate healing.
– Azelaic acid: The substance is a carboxylic acid found in some corn species and also produced by yeasts normally found on the skin. This substance stimulates the division and renewing of cells in the follicles and the skin. Thereby it causes the comedones to be pushed out. It also works against the bacteria infecting the skin by acne and reduces inflammation. It can however produce skin irritation in strong solutions. It is used in topical products.
– Bioflavonoids: These are antioxidant substances produced by plants that protect against tissue damage. Many of these give fruits or other plant parts bright colors. Bioflavonoids are often included in oral acne treatment drugs to counteract tissue damage and ease healing.
– Echinache extraxt: Extract of the herb Echinachea is a mild ingredient often used in topical products to dissolve the comedones and to counteract bacterial growth.
– Gum guggul extract: Gum guggul is the resin from the indian Commiphora mukul tree. Gum guggul extract used in oral products have an anti-biotic effect against the bacteria infecting the skin by acne and alleviates inflammation. It also seems to reduce pus formation and tissue destruction by severe acne.
– Methylsulphonyl methane: This substance furnishes sulphur in a form usable in the rebuilding of skin damage. It is often combined with molybdenium to ease the use of this sulphur. It is mostly used in oral products.
– Plant oils: Evening primrose oil, olive oil, flax seed oil, borage oil, soy oil and wheat germ oil are used in oral and topical products for several purposes. They contain essential fatty acids and vitamins that stimulate healing. The oils can also help to dissolve the comedones. They are also used to give topical products the right consistency.
– Lecithine: Lecithine is a blending of phospholipids. These phsopholipids are very important building blocks of the cells in the body and also contain smaller elements used as effector tools and hormons in many processes. Lecithine is used in oral products to stimulate rinsing processes in the skin and to stimulate skin reduilding after damage.
– Salicylic acid: This substance is an antibacterial effector found widespread in the nature. It is used in topical products to dissolve comedones in the pores and to help fight bacteria. Salicylic acid is perhaps the most frequently used ingredient in topical acne products.
– Sulphur: Sulphur is used in topical cleansing products to dissolve comedones, dry up the skin and to rub away irregularities. It can sometimes cause too much peeling and can irritate the skin.
– Tea tree oil: This is an oil containing essential fatty acids obtained by steam distillation of leaves of the Australian plant Melaleuca alternifolia. The oil helps to dissolve the comedones and works against bacteria and fungi. Tea tree oil has very few side effects.
– Vitamins and minerals: Both oral and topical acne treatment drugs often contain vitamins, vitamin-like susbstances or minerals, as vitamin A, C, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, D, E, folic acid, beta-carotene, copper, zink and selenium. These substances are working tools in the body, and they may effectivize cleaning processes, the immune defence and the regeneration from damages exerted by acne. In addition many of these substances are anti-oxidants that protect the skin against damages. Vitamin E and A also help to reduce inflammation. Zinc seems to be the most effective mineral for acne treatment.
PHARMACOLOGICAL SYNTHETIC INGREDIENTS USED IN ACNE TREATMENT PRODUCTS
Pharmacologically synthetic substances are traditionally used in acne medicines. These are very effective, but carry a heavier risk for side effects. Drugs containing these substances are often bound to prescription.
Antibiotics: Antibiotics are used both in topical and oral products to fight the infectious element of acne. Topical antibiotcs have fewer side effects than oral ones. Antibiotics used against acne are tetracycline variants, erythromycin, clindamycin, stivamycin, sulfacetamide and trimethaprim.
Bezoyl peroxide: The substance is mostly used in topical acne products to kill bacteria and dissolve comedones. Benzoyl peroxide often produce dryness and irritation in the skin. These side effects may however go away after some times use.
Resorcinol: Resorcinol is used in topical products to kill bacteria and to dissolve comedones and other deposits. It is also effective against itching. It can cause too much peeling and can irritate the skin.
Vitamin-A-like compunds (retinoids) – Tretinoin, isotretinoin (Accutane), tazarotene, adapalene and others: These stimulate the cells in the outer skin layer and in the lining of the pores to divide. This cell proliferation has the effect of pushing out the comedones clogging the pores. They may also stimulate healing of damages caused by acne and of other types of skin damage. The substances can however themselves cause side effects like itching, burning, redness, scaling and thin skin if not used with caution.