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    March 2014 Newsletter
 
arrow Some OTC acne products are effective
arrow Some common habits that may age your skin
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Some OTC acne products are effective

Drugstore shelves are lined with products for acne treatment, making it difficult to know where to begin trying to find a product that works for you. Dermatologists can guide their patients to the products that are most likely to be effective. Some of the most common active ingredients are:

  • Benzoyl Peroxide – Effectively kills acne-causing bacteria, which can reduce flares and control the condition with daily use. The strengths in commercial products vary from 2 to 10 percent, however studies have not found an increase in effectiveness in concentrations above 2.5 percent but there is an increased risk of skin irritation in higher concentrations.
  • Salicylic Acid – Exfoliates pore-clogging surface dead skin cells and can be used in conjunction with benzoyl peroxide, but in some cases, the combination can dry and irritate skin.
  • Sulfur – Suppresses acne-causing bacteria and unclogs pores; however, it is not meant to cover large areas of acne. It is a targeted, single pimple treatment.

The key is to choose the product containing the ingredients that are effective for your type of acne, and make sure it is in a form you like to use. Comedonal acne associated with whiteheads and blackheads is one version of acne that will sometimes not respond to OTC products. The best ingredients to treat this type of acne are referred to as retinoids and the only way to get these in medications is with a doctors prescription.

So, if the acne is still stubborn or doesn’t clear with OTC products, make an appointment to see your doctor and find out if prescription products are appropriate.
Some common habits that may age your skin

Even if you are doing all of the right things to take great care of your skin, some common habits may be undermining your best efforts:
  • Using tobacco – Smoking is bad for the health of your body and the health of your skin. Cigarettes contain a number of chemicals that can destroy collagen and elastin in the skin, causing fine lines and wrinkles. Smoking also affects the blood vessels in the skin, which restricts the flow of oxygen, causing a sallow and dull appearance. Additionally, smoking leads to pucker lines framing the lips.
  • Inadequate sleep – When you short yourself on sleep, your skin will tell on you. The caffeine you consume to stay alert can dry the skin. Alternatively, if you are stressed, the cortisol released can make your skin oily, which can increase the risk for acne.
Reducing or eliminating habits that are stressful to your body and hard on your skin is an essential part of an effective skin care regimen.
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