Avoid Acne Treatment, Change Your Skin Care Routine
Exfoliation helps keep pores from getting clogged with dead skin cells, which can trap naturally occurring Propionibacterium acnes (or P. acnes) bacteria with oil or sebum in an anaerobic environment. The bacteria uses the oil as a nutrient for growth, producing fatty acids and triggering an inflammatory response as the body sends to the area white blood cells to combat the infection. By contrast, blackheads and whiteheads are clogged pores that haven’t triggered the inflammatory response.
Aside from salicylic acid for the treatment of acne, Dr. Engelman also suggests trying swiping pads with benzoyl peroxide (an antibacterial agent) or more salicylic acid. Dr. Dennis Gross, a dermatologist in New York with an eponymous line of skin care products, explains that the skin on the back, shoulders and upper arms tends to be thicker and less delicate than the skin on the face, and the pores in those areas reside deeper in the skin. Thus, products with higher concentrations of active ingredients are safe to use on those areas.
Among the latest body acne treatment to come on the market, there are Clearasil Ultra On-the-Go Rapid Action wipes ($4.49) with 2 percent salicylic acid (the highest concentration allowed over the counter). Also, there is Proactiv+ Cleansing Body Bar ($29.95 for members; $40 for others) with one percent salicylic acid and exfoliating beads. Recently Glo Therapeutics introduced Back Acne Treatment ($32), a spray that uses salicylic acid, sodium chlorite and spearmint oil to fight breakouts. In June, Rx Skin Therapy introduced Clarifying Wash Plus, which contains high concentrations of tea tree oil as well as, salicylic, glycolic and lactic acids.
If you’d prefer to have someone else attack the acne problem, Bliss’s popular No Zit Sherlock treatment ($175 for 75 minutes) includes extractions and a bacteria-fighting hydrogen peroxide milk mask and can be performed anywhere on the body. And Dr. Gross’s in-office chest and back facial ($500) includes an alpha and beta hydroxyl acids peel to help unclog pores, extractions, and a session under a blue-light LED, which he said penetrates the skin to destroy bacteria and reduce inflammation. In August, Dr. Gross plans to introduce One Step Acne Eliminating Pads ($38), which use L-carnitine and pantothenic acid, ingredients that he said help calm overactive oil glands that cause acne and help disperse oil from the pore. “Oil in the skin should flow like a liquid,” Dr. Gross said. “Like olive oil versus butter.”
Some of the reasons behind acne, according to Megan McGhee, a medical aesthetician with Bliss, could be found in dimethicone. This silicone based polymer is used in many hair care products to impart smoothness and shine; it can act like shrink wrap on the skin, congesting pores. Ms. McGhee also flagged sunscreens, which may contain mineral oils, as potential pore blockers. Another factor contributing to acne is tight fitting clothes. These, physically block pores and trap sweat, creating the moist, humid environment in which the pernicious P.bacteria thrive.
Dr. Nicholas Perricone, a dermatologist in New York and the author of “The Clear Skin Prescription,” also argues that lifting weights causes to release more testosterone in the body, which can contribute to breakouts. He advocates for yoga and other forms of moderate exercise to help reduce stress, which is linked to acne. He also recommends an anti-inflammatory diet heavy on cold-water fish, beans and low-glycemic fruits and vegetables.
“Acne is a chronic, systemic inflammatory disease,” Dr. Perricone said, caused when stress, poor diet, and other factors spur the release of hormonelike pro-inflammatory chemicals called cytokines, which can make the cells inside a pore “sticky” and more prone to getting clogged.
This Zalea Original piece was edited and approved by the Zalea Editorial Team.
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