Nov 12

Treat Acne Naturally Using Tea Tree Oil

Many people who suffer from acne are put off by all of the harsh chemicals used to treat acne. They can smell strange, and cause irritation to skin, and for all that they also tend to be expensive. If you’re looking for a more natural, less harsh treatment for acne that won’t empty your wallet, you should consider tea tree oil.

What is Tea Tree Oil?

Tea tree oil is an essential oil that is found in Narrow-leaved Tea-trees. It smells like camphor, and is clear. People in Australia, the native location of the tree, had been using it for medicinal purposes for years before it became commercially popular. Tea tree oil has been used successfully to fight viruses, infections, and bacteria.

How Tea Tree Oil fight acne?

The reason it is such a popular medication for acne treatment is that it has antimicrobial properties, and appears to kill the bacteria on skin that contribute to acne. Acne occurs when a pore becomes clogged with dead skin cells or oil produced by the skin. Once this occurs, bacteria becomes trapped inside the clogged pore. This causes swelling, and more swelling and redness occurs when white blood cells attack the bacteria trapped in the pore. By attacking these bacteria, tea tree oil can reduce occurrences of acne breakouts.

Tea tree oil also acts as a toner, especially on oily skin. Tea tree oil reduces the current amount of oil on the surface of the skin, which can help cut down on the amount of pores clogged by oil, thus preventing acne from even forming.

How do I use Tea Tree Oil?

You should never use pure tea tree oil on the skin, it should be diluted to about a five to ten percent concentration. You can mix this yourself by combining 9 parts water to one part tea tree oil. You can use aloe vera, rather than water to dilute the tea tree oil, if you have sensitive skin. Start out with a lower concentration until you can be sure that your skin will not dry out, and increase the concentration over time. People with dry, or sensitive skin, may want to start out by using it once a day, and then after skin adjusts, using it in the morning and evening. Tea tree oil if used to often, or in a mixture that is too strong, can cause irritation, redness, and drying of the skin. To combat these issues if they develop, an oil free moisturizer is recommended. Tea tree oil also can work as a spot treatment, using a slightly stronger concentration of tea tree oil, apply to problem areas using a q-tip.

Will Tea Tree Oil Work for Me?

More than likely, yes. While tea tree oil has not had as many studies done as other acne medications, all of the tests that have been done show that tea tree oil works comparably to benzoyl peroxide. The advantages of using tea tree oil is that it is less expensive than most acne treatments, it is less harsh, and it is completely natural.

Nov 12

What is Pyoderma faciale and how is it treated?

Pyoderma faciale, also known as rosacea fulminans, is a very severe form of rosacea. It presents abruptly with abscesses and nodules, and it causes bleeding and scarring, which is almost always extremely damaging to skin. While pyoderma faciale shares the same traits as common rosacea in that it creates a distinct reddening of the skin, it has little else in common. Pyoderma faciale develops within a few days, making it distinct from most forms of rosacea. Pyoderma faciale causes nodules and lesions to form, and they bleed and will almost certainly cause scarring. These scars are usually thicker because of the lesions that pyoderma faciale causes to form.

Outside of the already painful eruptions, infection is a large worry with an outbreak of pyoderma faciale; because of the open sores that form, it is all too easy for bacteria to get into them. These areas need to be treated with care, as infection will only cause the symptoms to become worse, and cause further scarring and damage to the skin. Additionally, pyoderma faciale can also cause an acne outbreak to occur in people who tend to have issues with oily skin; it can also cause other skin conditions that occur due to inflammation to occur at the same time.

Who does pyoderma faciale affect?

The strange thing about pyoderma faciale is that it only affects women. Doctors are not sure why, but it does not occur in men. Standard rosacea can affect both men and women, but this particular form of rosacea is singular to women. This occurs to women usually in their twenties or thirties, but never before adolescence. There do not appear to be any genetic preconditions that cause Pyoderma faciale to be more likely.

What causes pyoderma faciale?

The strange thing is, while doctors generally understand what the condition of pyoderma faciale does, they do not know what causes it. It does not respond to treatment that is used for acne or rosacea, even though many of the symptoms appear to overlap. It is not caused by excess oil production, or bacteria, and there appears to be no apparent cause that triggers it; however, at least, it is not contagious, and cannot be passed on to another person.

How do you treat pyoderma faciale?

The one tiny, saving grace of such an awful condition is that the treatment for pyoderma faciale is known, and highly and quickly effective. By using injections of Accutane, also known as Isotreitonin, people suffering from pyoderma faciale will see quick results, and quick action can help prevent more damage from occurring after the condition begins to present itself. Women that are pregnant, since they are not able to take Accutane because of a high risk of birth defects, are prescribed steroid injections or topical gels.

While pyoderma faciale may appear visually similar to acne, especially severe cystic acne, it does not respond to any acne or bacteria killing treatments, as acne does. If any signs of pyoderma faciale begin to appear, contact a doctor or dermatologist immediately. The sooner you are able to get treatment, the less damage that will be done to your skin.

Nov 12

How to Win the Battle Against Cystic Acne

There are a few different types of acne, but the most severe is acne vulgaris, better known as cystic acne. This is more common in younger men, but people at any age or gender can experience it. People who are suffering from cystic acne can have scaly red skin, blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, and large papules. Scarring is also common due to the severity of the acne.

Cystic acne usually affects the parts of skin with the most oil production, the back, chest and face. This type of acne usually starts to show up during adolescence, when increases in testosterone usually occur. Most people notice a decrease in the severity of their level of acne by the time they reach their early twenties.

What Causes Cystic Acne?

It appears that acne, especially cystic acne, is hereditary; most people with cystic acne have family members that suffer from it also. The same cause of regular acne is also the root of cystic acne; acne is created when pores become blocked with oil and dead skin cells. At this point, either a blackhead or a whitehead is formed. Inflammation of these can occur due to bacteria, and this is what causes lesions to occur. These lesions are usually what leads to acne scarring.

What can you do to treat it?

There are several different ways that cystic acne can be treated such as: benzoyl peroxide, oral antibiotics, birth control pills, oral retinoids, and topical retinoids.

• Benzoyl peroxide is the most common treatment for cystic acne, it is usually the first thing that is prescribed to treat it. Its side effects are the most mild, usually limited to redness and peeling, but it is also not as strong as some of the other options for treatment.

• Oral antibiotics help to kill the bacteria that causes acne. It has a high success rate and relatively few side effects; however, the treatment is not a permanent solution. People that take oral antibiotics to treat cystic acne will eventually see the bacteria become resistant to the treatment.

• Birth control pills (obviously for women) can help regulate hormones that are causing increased oil production, and limiting oil helps get acne under control. The downsides of this method is that all of the possible side effects associated with birth control are still an issue, even with a lower dosage. Additionally, this does not always completely cure the acne, though it usually does at least reduce it.

• Retinoids are vitamin A derivatives; vitamin A is a major part of skin cell replacement and health. The most common oral retinoid is Accutane (now sold as Isotretinoin). The success rate for Accutane is almost one hundred percent; however, the side effects related to it are extreme and severe. For example, women have to sign contracts stating that they are on, and will continue to be on, two different types of birth control to be prescribed it.

• Topical retinoids, such as Retin-A and Differin, are also highly effective, but do not carry the same type of extreme side effects that Accutane does. But the side effects of topical retinoids are still rather strong. The work essentially as a chemical peel, and people with sensitive or dry skin can have extreme reactions to them. People with normal to oily skin will have the least problems using it, and most side effects go away within a few weeks of using it.

Nov 11

Using Benzoyl Peroxide to Treat Acne

Acne is caused by many things, but the main physical mechanism of acne creation is that pores are clogged by oil, bacteria then flourishes in the clogged pore, and that creates swelling and redness. By attacking the root physical causes of acne, Benzoyl Peroxide is one of the most effective, and most used ingredients for treating acne.

What is Benzoyl Peroxide?

Benzoyl Peroxide is one of the most popular active ingredients used to fight acne. It is in almost every acne fighting system available. Many times it is combined with salicylic acid for maximum results. Benzoyl Peroxide can also help clear up minor acne scars, and speed up the removal of marks left on skin healing from pimples.

How does it work?

Benzoyl Peroxide is available in concentrations from 2.5% to 10%, the highest percentage obviously being the strongest. It works as a peeling agent, this means that it dries out skin on the top layer, accelerating production and replacement of skin cells. This helps get rid of dead skin cells that are clogging pores, and replaces them with healthy skin that is less prone to being clogged, and therefore prone to acne.

By increasing skin cell replacement, Benzoyl Peroxide is effective at keeping acne breakouts from returning. If skin cells stay fresh and healthy, pores have less chance to become clogged and infected. Another reason that Benzoyl Peroxide is so effective as an acne fighting ingredient is that it is also a antimicrobial; antimicrobials kill and reduce concentrations of bacteria. This means that while Benzoyl Peroxide is helping to produce new skin cells, it is also keeping them clear of bacteria, another of the major causes of acne.

What are side effects? And how can I avoid them?

One of the main side effects of using a product with Benzoyl Peroxide in it is drying of the skin. Because, as mentioned above, Benzoyl Peroxide is a peeling agent, this is a natural reaction that skin has to application of skin treatments with Benzoyl Peroxide. Dead skin cells are being replaced with new ones, and this can contribute to feelings of dryness and tightness in the skin. Skin acclimates to Benzoyl Peroxide within about a week, and most feeling of dryness goes away during that time. There are several ways to lessen the discomfort caused by skin’s reaction to Benzoyl Peroxide. One way is to start with a product that has a lower concentration of Benzoyl Peroxide ; many doctors and dermatologists recommend starting with a 2.5% concentration, and then working up to higher concentrations as skin becomes accustomed to the treatment. Additionally, starting off using a product with Benzoyl Peroxide in it once a day, rather than twice, and working up to more frequent use, can also help skin feel less dry. Finally, using an oil free lotion can help skin feel more comfortable as it adjusts to Benzoyl Peroxide.

Be aware, that in some cases, people with sensitive or dry skin can have severe negative reactions to Benzoyl Peroxide. If skin is extremely sore, or a rash occurs, discontinue use of the product. While some discomfort and peeling is normal, pain is not, and this means either that the concentration of Benzoyl Peroxide in the product is to high, or skin is too delicate to handle Benzoyl Peroxide at all. This is not common, but can occur, and it is important that people who are having severe reactions stop using products that cause them; using products that irritate the skin can make acne worse.

Should I look for a product with Benzoyl Peroxide in it?

Absolutely. Keep in mind, there is initial discomfort for most people who use a product with Benzoyl Peroxide in it, but it goes away after a week, and results are usually excellent. There is a reason that Benzoyl Peroxide is so popular, and it is because it is effective. For people with less severe acne, or sensitive or dry skin, starting out with a concentration of 2.5% is recommended to lessen reaction and discomfort. For people with extreme cases of acne, or very oily skin, 5% may be a good starting place. Finally, keep in mind, most acne products take 2 to 3 weeks to truly show results, so do not be discouraged if results are not immediate. Benzoyl Peroxide has an excellent track record, and chances are, it will help you get rid of your acne.

Nov 11

Mario Badescu Acne Control Kit Review

The Mario Badescu Acne Control Kit features products that are designed to deeply cleanse the skin, absorb oil, treat existing acne and prevent future breakouts. The Acne Facial Cleanser, Special Cucumber Lotion, Drying Mask, Drying Cream and Drying Lotion are the five products that are included in the kit. This article provides a review of the products that can be found in the Mario Badescu Acne Control Kit and illustrates the potential benefits and drawbacks of the kit.

Acne Facial Cleanser

Exfoliating
• Contains salicylic acid
• Contains chamomile
• Contains aloe vera
• Reduces inflammation
• Some synthetic ingredients

The Acne Facial Cleanser contains a mixture of ingredients that fight acne while also soothing the skin. Salicylic acid helps to exfoliate the skin and remove dead skin cells, which will leave pores clean and free of impurities. Aloe vera and chamomile can help to reduce facial redness, inflammation and provide light moisture to the skin. This product also contains chemicals and synthetic ingredients such as propylene glycol, glycerin and triethanolamine, which can be potential skin irritants.

Special Cucumber Lotion

• Astringent
• Kills acne-causing bacteria
• Contains sulfur
• Contains cucumber
• Few synthetic ingredients

This lotion acts as an astringent, and can remove bacteria on the skin while also clearing pores. Sulfur is a highly beneficial ingredient for fighting acne, as it eliminates bacteria, treats existing blemishes and reduces redness and inflammation. Cucumber extract is used to hydrate the skin and soothe swelling and redness. In a similar manner to the Acne Facial Cleanser, the Special Cucumber Lotion contains a few chemical ingredients.

Drying Mask

• Heals existing acne
• Unclogs pores
• Minimizes oil
• Soothes skin
• Synthetics

The Drying Mask contains a finely divided form of sulfur known as colloidal sulfur. This ingredient inhibits the growth of bacteria, reduces surface oil and can help exfoliate dead skin cells before they clog pores. To combat the potential drying effects of colloidal sulfur, calamine is included to calm skin and lightly moisturize.

Drying Cream

• Conceals existing acne
• Treats blemishes
• Contains aloe
• Contains synthetics

The Drying Cream conceals the appearance of blemishes while also speeding the healing process. Colloidal sulfur treats existing acne and kills acne-causing bacteria on the skin. It is a lightly moisturizing product that also contains aloe to soothe skin.

Drying Lotion

• Eliminates whiteheads
• Treats body acne and facial acne
• Contains salicylic acid and colloidal sulfur
• Contains calamine
• Synthetic ingredients

The Drying Lotion is used as a spot treatment and is intended to speed the healing process of existing acne. It can also be applied anywhere on the face or body where a blemish may occur. Salicylic acid unclogs pores and treats whiteheads, while colloidal sulfur attacks bacteria and promotes the healing process. Calamine can relieve dryness and inflammation.

Benefits

The Mario Badescu Acne Control Kit contains many ingredients that are proven acne fighters that can both treat and prevent the occurrence of acne. Ingredients such as salicylic acid and sulfur treat the specific causes of acne by promoting the sloughing of dead skin cells, eliminating acne-causing bacteria and controlling oil production.

The products included in the kit are also a decent size and should be long-lasting. Since all of the products are included in a kit, they all work synergistically and provide specific benefits to the skin. Choosing an acne kit that contains numerous products also saves time, since a person does not have to search for cleansers, moisturizers and creams separately.

Drawbacks

Perhaps the main drawback of this kit is the large number of preservatives that are present in each product. Ingredients such as propylene glycol, polysorbate 80, nonoxynol-9 and glycerin do not serve a purpose in treating acne and do not offer any benefits to the skin. In some cases, these ingredients can be irritating, result in redness and can even worsen acne in some individuals. Due to the substantial amount of preservatives, the Mario Badescu Acne Control Kit would not be a good choice for individuals with sensitive skin.

While many products in this kit do contain salicylic acid and sulfur, the concentrations are not listed, which makes it difficult to ascertain how well they will treat acne. In general, the most effective concentration of salicylic acid is two percent. Since the concentration of salicylic acid is not listed, it may be a signal that the concentration is much less than two percent. This can greatly reduce the efficacy of the product when treating acne.

The fact that some of the product names are described as drying also raises concern. Many people believe that drying the skin will prevent the development of acne and reduce the amount of sebum that is produced. Acne products that are aimed at drying the skin can actually increase sebum production, cause inflammation and worsen acne. The description for these products may convince some people that drying the skin is essential to acne prevention, when in reality, it is the exact opposite.

Nov 11

Tissue Fillers to Remove Acne Scars

Once you have completed a successful acne treatment, it is an amazing feeling. But in many situations, once acne has been cleared up, scars from that acne remains; almost everyone that experiences acne has scars, some are almost unnoticeable, some people have scars that are severe. That is incredibly frustrating, after finally having cleared up your skin, to still not have perfect, clear, blemish free skin. Because of this, many people look for ways to diminish the appearance of acne scars. There are several options, one that is becoming more popular is using tissue fillers to help reduce the appearance of acne scars.

What creates acne scars?

There are a few ways that acne scars are created. When acne forms, a “blob” of bacteria is trapped in a pore, which white blood cells attack. When this occurs, collagen is damaged and ultimately destroyed. The skin that covers the area where the collagen was has nothing to lay on top of, and creates a small indentation, or pock mark, in the skin. This is called an atrophic scar. As people age, the amount of collagen in their skin lessens, and this can make these types of scars become more noticeable. This is the most common type of acne scar that occurs.

Another, though less frequent, type of acne scar is a keloid scar. This is a type of scar that is more common in men than women. This scar occurs after acne is healed and too much collagen is produced. This type of scarring is firm and rubbery, and it can be anywhere from pink to brown in color.

Tissue fillers can make a huge difference in the appearance of most atrophic scars, but they will do nothing to help keloid scars unfortunately.

How do tissue fillers reduce the appearance of acne scars?

Tissue fillers work by filling the gaps caused by the lack of collagen under the skin, in the site of the acne scar. Once the filler has been injected into the site of the scar, the level of the skin is raised, which reduces the appearance of the acne scar, and usually makes it nearly invisible.

When the procedure first became common, these sites were injected with fat or collagen taken from another part of the patient’s body. However, as the technology has developed, there are many other types of fillers for this procedure that are currently being used, many of which are now artificial. Some common fillers are Restylane, bovine Collagen, Fascian, and Artecoll; more are also now being tested for approval by the FDA.

The advantage of this type of acne scar treatment is that it is very successful, and directly targets to cause of the acne scar; however, it is not a permanent treatment for acne scars. Most fillers last between four and six months, and then they have to be treated again.

If you are hesitant to have filler injections done, there is a less invasive alternative. Many skin plumpers, which are used to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, can also help reduce the appearance of acne scars. By using a serum with hyaluronic acid it will temporarily give skin additional volume that will smooth the surface of the skin; skin will appear smoother within twenty minutes. This treatment only lasts about twenty-four hours.

Will it work for me?

The most important part of acne scar removal is to make sure that your acne treatment has been completed. If you do not have totally clear skin, many acne scar treatments will make acne worse. Once your skin is clear, this is one of many successful ways to treat acne scars. It makes them almost invisible, and there are a variety of fillers to choose from. But be aware, with this type of acne scar treatment it is temporary, and will require continuing treatments for the acne scars to remain unnoticeable.

Nov 11

Retin-A Micro: The Cure to Your Acne?

If you have severe acne, that does not respond to over the counter medications, your doctor may prescribe you a stronger acne medication than available in stores. One of those medications is Retin-A Micro. Retin-A Micro is a retinoid, which is a form of vitamin A. (Another succesful acne treating drug that is part of the retinoid family is Accutane.) Retina-A is a gel that is spread over the skin once a day, after you have washed your face, usually in the evening.

How does Retin-A Micro work?

It works on increasing the rate of skin cell turn over, which helps keep pores clear of dead skin cells, and reducing the chance of them becoming clogged and turning into acne. Retina-A also gets rid of not just the top layer of dead skin cells, but increases production deep inside the top layers of skin. This helps not just get rid of current acne, but prevents future outbreaks from occurring.

Retin-A also helps collagen synthesis; creating new collagen helps to reduce the appearance of acne scars, and improves the smoothness of skin. There are many laser therapies that are focused on causing the body to create and replace damaged collagen as a way to remove and diminish acne scars, and Retin-A works on the same principle.

What are side effects of Retin-A Micro?

Please be aware, if you have sensitive skin, this is probably not the acne treatment for you. I used it when I was about seventeen, when my skin was at its oiliest and worst. Within two days of use I had what looked like a sunburn on my skin, and it was bright red. By the third day, it hurt to touch my face, and it was swollen. I have very sensitive skin, and most products that people have no problems with are torture to my skin. So be aware that if you have delicate skin, this may not be the best product for you, or you may want to ask your doctor to start you off with the lowest concentration.

As with most acne treatments, you may see your acne worsening after the first few weeks of use. This is normal, your skin is changing, and Retin-A in particular is increasing the rate of skin cell production, which is pushing dead and older skin cells to the surface. As your skin is releasing toxins, it has nowhere to go but out, so even though it doesn’t feel that way, increased breakouts mean that the treatment is working.

Your skin, even if it is not as sensitive as mine, will probably be increasingly sensitive, and you will want to avoid sunlight; a high SPF sunscreen or lotion is recommended. Additionally, dryness is a regular side effect, so you may want to stop using other medications with drying agents in them (such as salicylic acid or sulfur) to keep from drying your skin out. Using a good oil free moisturizer will help lessen irritation and prevent drying from becoming excessive.

More severe reactions (such as mine) include blistering, crusting and swelling of the skin. If any of these things occur, stop using Retin-A and contact your doctor. Mild discomfort is normal, severe pain and swelling are not.

Will it work for me?

Barring a severe reaction, the answer is probably yes. The great thing about Retin-A is that not only does it prevent future acne, but because of the aforementioned increased collagen production due to using it, it also helps reduce the appearance of acne scars. While the first few weeks can be rough to get through with drying and breakouts, if you are able to make it through, people report amazing results.