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Clear Skin Acne - How to Get Clear Skin after Acne Outbreaks

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Acne vulgaris is a common skin condition that afflicts about 50 million people in the United States. Although it is most commonly seen in people from 13 to 23 years of age, it can occur at any age. Many people have a difficult time getting clear skin after acne outbreaks, but there are several treatments available that can help you achieve this goal.

The exact cause of acne is unknown. However, most acne occurs after pores become clogged with excess oil, dirt, or combinations of the two. Bacteria begin to grow in the clogged pores, and as the body tries to fight it, the pore can become inflamed and filled with pus. There are three common types of acne: whiteheads, blackheads and pustules.

Many people believe that washing often and scrubbing skin clean can help to clear skin from acne, but this is not how to get clear skin. Acne can be made worse from excessive washing and hard scrubbing.

Doctors recommend that the face or other affected areas be washed gently only once or twice per day. Only a mild soap and lukewarm water should be used for cleaning. Hair should also be shampooed daily to prevent excess oil from the hair from getting on the skin.

Another misconception about acne is that eating certain foods such as greasy foods or chocolate can cause it to grow. This is not true, but certain foods have been found to make acne worse for people who already have it. The problem with greasy foods, is not the grease that is eaten, but the grease that gets on the face as a result of eating or touching the face after handling such foods. Some foods that can be eaten to help clear skin from acne include the following:

• Whole Grains – Whole grains have a lot of fiber and antioxidants that help to bring blood sugar into alignment. Ideal whole grains will be low in sugar and high in fiber.
• Vegetables – Vegetables, especially green vegetables can provide the skin with vitamins and antioxidants that help to resist acne.
• Green Tea – Green tea has several health benefits. Among them is the ability to help clear skin from acne.
• Fish – Fish contains oils that help to maintain healthy skin.

Treatments that can help clear skin of acne include both over-the-counter topical preparations and prescription oral and topical medications.

Over-the-Counter Acne Treatments
These types of acne treatments can help clear skin of acne but you should be aware that there is no quick fix. Any sort of acne treatment should be allowed 4 to 8 weeks before judging if it has been effective. Here are some of the more popular over-the-counter treatments:

• Cleansers – These are basic soaps and cleaning products that should be used once or twice daily. They include names such as Neutrogena, Dove, and Clean & Clear.
• Masks – Exfoliating mask products can be used to help clear skin of acne. These products contain salicylic acid, alpha hydroxy acids, or glycolic acid.
• Antibacterials – These cleansers have an antibacterial agent in them that can help rid the skin of the bacteria that can lead to acne. The most popular of these contain benzoyl peroxide.

Prescription Treatments
Prescription treatments to clear skin of acne are numerous, but made only for moderate to severe cases. Here are the most common prescription treatments:

• Topical antibiotics – Included here are azelaic acid, sulfacetamide, clindamycin, and erythromycin.
• Retin-A – Retin-A is a medication that has been used for years for treating acne. It was once known to be a cause of severe side-effects, but modern preparations have significantly reduced them.
• Oral antibiotics – Oral antibiotics are sometimes prescribed in conjunction with other treatments. The most common are doxycycline, tetracycline, and minocycline.
• Oral Contraceptives – Contraceptive pills have been found to be effective against acne for some women.
• Accutane – Accutane has been used to treat severe cases of acne in the U.S. since 1982. It is only used for severe cases of acne because of incidents of depression, suicide, and birth defects.

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