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Acne! Did It Have to Happen Now?

Acne! Did It Have to Happen Now?

Article by Tony Buel

Copyright 2006 Tony Buel

The thought of dating is hard enough for the self-conscious teenager. And now – it couldn’t have happened at a worse time – Acne!

Acne is the most common concern of almost all teens all over the world. Nearly every otherwise healthy teenager suffers from acne and all of them detest it. In some, the disgust is so strong as to border on the obsessive. And in still others, unresolved acne problems could very well result in low self esteem and consequent depression. But the good news is that almost all acne is a normal and natural process of growing up. With or without the use of acne treatments, all acne will eventually disappear as the teenagers move on to adolescence and beyond. But almost everyone is eternally on the quest to identify and secure the ultimate acne treatment.

In order to determine the ideal acne treatment, it is essential to understand what causes acne in the first place. Acne is usually caused, not as most people believe due to poor hygiene, but due to hormonal changes in the human body. Some people secrete excessive oil due to the hormonal changes brought on by puberty and this traps dirt and moisture, resulting in blackheads and acne. In some others, acne is brought on by infection or by the blockage of the pores. Still others may have acne as a result of poor diet. But acne treatment is available for all kinds of acne. It would however always be a good idea to consult a dermatologist to determine the cause of acne before trying to go in for self treatment.

There is an unimaginable range of acne treatment available in the market. Just go to any pharmacy or drugstore and you will see shelves upon gleaming shelves of products offering acne treatment. Most of them are generalized acne treatment lotions that may or may not eradicate your problem. But in order to find the best acne treatment, suited to your specific acne, your doctor is the best advisor. Acne treatments differ for various acne. And unless you are able to pin down the cause, you may end up spending a fortune on acne treatments that don’t ever seem to work. Some of the more common acne treatments include azelaic acid creams, benzoyl peroxide and Accutane. Other treatments include topical antibiotics and lotions. Still other treatments include glycolic and gluconic acids. But as mentioned earlier, each of these acne treatments works for a particular kind of acne. And the more severe the acne, the more strong the treatment.

The best advice anyone can give you regarding acne treatments is that time is the best healer. But for those who are unwilling to let time be the healer, the pharmacy is their playground. While common treatments could work wonders for some, others will have to go in for prescription drugs.

Know this, the key is to understand your particular case of acne. Only then can you begin to solve the problem. And you will be amazed how quickly you can solve your acne problem once you understand the source of your acne and implement the right strategy to attack it!

About the Author

Tony Buel – Authorhttp://www.AcneTreatment-101.com

Discover The Link Between Acne & Hormones

Discover The Link Between Acne & Hormones

Article by Louise Forrest

Whenever you think about acne, you must admit you will at least be reminded of hormones! Hormones and acne are old friends and bosom buddies. In fact, they can hardly do without each other.

Ever present danger of Acne. Acne can strike at any time in your life, whether you are a child, a teenager, an adult or a senior citizen. At every stage, you can bet that hormones will have some part to play. You can probably count on having your own special tale of woe, depending on how badly you have been scarred by your encounter with acne.

So let us take a look at how hormones can affect acne in a variety circumstances. Believe it or not, even babies have not managed to escape the menace of acne. That sure does seem a shame considering they are not even able to make themselves understood. Acne in babies is caused by the transfer of maternal hormones to the baby through the placenta, which stimulates the secretion of oil in the babys skin.

Acne is also evident in children before they reach puberty. At this time, girls are more prone to the condition than boys, while they are more or less equally affected by acne through the adolescent years. In adulthood, it is women rather than men who suffer from acne more often. Teenagers and young adults make up the bulk of acne sufferers. All of these inclinations towards acne among the different age groups are dictated by variations of hormonal activity.

References to hormonal acne can actually be rather misleading because nearly all forms of acne are affected by erratic hormone levels. This is true in the case of both males and females. Although generally speaking, the layman tends to regard testosterone as a male hormone and estrogen and progesterone as female hormones, in fact both males have a combination of all three hormones.

The appearance of acne is mainly caused by fluctuating levels of androgens, particularly DHEAS or dihydroepiandrosterone sulfate, DHT or dehydrotestosterone and of course, testosterone. When the levels of these hormones are high, secretion by the sebaceous glands also increases. This in turn encourages the formation of acne.

Teenage acne woes. Then again, it is the adolescent years, when hormonal activity is high, that are most commonly associated with the appearance of acne. That is why acne is particularly prevalent among teenagers, whose skin tends to be greasy. Since males have a higher concentration of male hormones, the acne problem is more acute in teenage boys. This is also the reason why men who use anabolic steroids tend to have eruptions of acne on the torsos and faces. Anabolic steroids are androgens.

Acne woes for women. As far as women are concerned, acne that is induced by hormonal activity is most often linked to the menstrual cycle, when levels of estrogen and androgens are at their highest. Increased levels of progesterone following ovulation result in increased secretion from the sebaceous glands, making the skin greasy, clogging pores and encouraging the formation of acne. Acne may even trouble women after menopause. At this time, while estrogen levels have begun to recede, testosterone levels are high.

Acne and hormonal changes. There are a few telltale signs that will indicate whether your acne is the result of hormonal changes. Acne that breaks out for the first time in adulthood is one such indicator. A menstrual cycle that tends to be irregular is another. Other pointers include a greasy appearance to the face, which is the result of excessive secretion from the sebaceous glands, and the growth of hair in odd parts of the body. The latter is associated with androgens. Lastly, if the level of androgens in the blood is high, it is likely that acne has been caused by hormonal disturbances.

It is evident therefore that there is a clear link between hormonal activity and the appearance of acne. Even the appearance of acne in the last three months of pregnancy has been attributed to hormonal imbalance. The use of oral contraceptives to regulate the activity of both male and female hormones has been effective in slowing down the activity of the sebaceous glands. However, this is not generally considered a treatment option for men with acne.

It does appear that acne and hormones will be friends for life. We will just have to do the best we can to live with the consequences!

About the Author

Keep YOURSELF looking and feeling great with these great Free Beauty Tips from Natural Elements. In just seconds you can access over 36 beauty topics that will keep you looking younger and more radiant.You can now get the very latest information on Acne Skin Care by subscribing with RSS

I Suffered from Acne Too – Treatments, Medicines & Solutions

I Suffered from Acne Too – Treatments, Medicines & Solutions

Article by Fiona Fraser


ACNE – Click here to find out more info!

I suffered from acne myself. Fortunately my skin has cleared up, but I wanted to help point others in the right direction for help. What to remember is that acne is very common. It affects about 80% of people, teenagers & adults, aged 11-30 at some time. Acne is not caused by eating chocolate, eating fatty foods or not washing! Acne is caused by the overactivity of the sebaceous glands that secrete oily substances onto the skin.Those who suffer with acne on average secrete more sebum than those who do not have acne and the more sebum that is excreted the more severe the acne can be. Testosterone in people prone to acne triggers the sebaceous glands to produce an excess of sebum. At the same time dead skin cells lining the openings of the hair follicles are not shed properly and clog up the follicles.These two effects combined cause a build-up of oil in the hair follicles. This causes blackheads and whiteheads to form. For some people, their acne does not progress beyond this stage.However in other people, the build-up of oil in the hair follicles creates an ideal environment for a bacterium called Propionibacterium acnes to grow.These bacteria normally live harmlessly on your skin but when this ideal environment is created, they colonise the sebum & this causes the inflammation of the skin and creates the redness associated with spots.In more severe acne cysts can form beneath the skin’s surface. These acne cysts can rupture, spreading the infection into nearby skin tissue and unfortunately this can result in scarring.There are a range of treatments & medicines to offer solutions to acne & are either topical or oral. The most common are preparations containing benzoyl peroxide or azelaic acid (which is an alternative to benzoyl peroxide and may not make your skin as sore as benzoyl peroxide) Topical retinoids are medicines based on vitamin A, which are rubbed into the skin once or twice a day. They work by encouraging the outer layer of skin to flake off A topical antibiotic lotion applied to the skin can be used to control the acne causing bacteria. Treatment needs to continue for at least six months. Treatments for acne that combine an antibiotic with other acne medication (e.g. with benzoyl peroxide) are also available.Oral antibiotics (tablets), such as tetracycline, can be prescribed for inflammatory acne. They have a gradual effect with benefit noted about the 4 month mark. As bacteria can develop resistance to antibiotics the success of this treatment can be limited. Antibiotics do not prevent pores from becoming blocked so treatment to prevent blackheads, such as benzoyl peroxide, is often also prescribed at the same time Some types of oral contraceptive tablets can help women who have acne. Isotretinoin is a medicine known as an oral retinoid, which also exists in a topical form (see above). Its effects include reduction of sebum production and shrinkage of the sebaceous gland leading to a decrease in bacterial colonisation of the ducts. The course is usually 4 months long, though a lower dose can be used for longer. It tends to be prescribed to people with severe forms of acne that have proved resistant to other treatments. There a number of serious side-effects of this drug, such as liver disorders and depresssion. You should not take isotretinoin if you are pregnant, as it is very dangerous to an unborn baby. For safety reasons, isotretinoin is only prescribed under the supervision of dermatology specialists.Additionally if you suffer from mild to moderate acne you may want to check out acnefreein3days, it’s basically a 3 day detox programme combined with applying certain topical products to help get rid of the toxins faster. It’s had great reports of success, but naturally the best way is always to check it out yourself!


Thanks for reading!

About the Author

An acne sufferer myself

The Types Of People Who Get Acne

The Types Of People Who Get Acne

Article by Kevin Chang

Acne is a skin disorder that affects millions of people around the world. Acne occurs when there is an excessive secretion of sebum, a substance from the hair follicles. The excess secretion becomes the target for dust and bacteria to accumulate to later develop into acne.

Acne can affect people of all ages and races. But occurrence of acne is very high among adolescent people. According to studies, almost 85 percent of adolescents and young adults within the age range of 12 and 24 years old develop acne to a varying degree.

During adolescence, the hormonal levels of a person become elevated and they stimulate the sebaceous glands which are attached to the hair follicles. As an effect, greater amount of sebum is secreted.

The ages of 10 and 13 are when young people are most vulnerable to acne. Normally, acne usually lasts for 5 to 10 years although there are many cases where one experiences acne up until a later age.

People with poor hygiene are at a risk of getting acne. Since acne is caused by bacteria, people who are exposed to dust and dirty and do not wash their faces during bed time will most likely develop acne. Also, a person who uses dirty pillowcases will have higher risk of getting acne.

Acne can also be inherited. So people who have a family history with acne will be at risk of developing acne too.

People who take certain drugs like those used to treat epilepsy and depression may be at risk of acne breakout.

Acne affects both men and women. But among men, the likelihood of getting more severe and long lasting forms of acme is higher compared to women. Even then, more women have close relationships with their dermatologists than men.

Intermittent acne affects women due to hormonal changes that usually come with their menstrual cycle. This kind of acne is also caused by excessive use of cosmetics. Some cosmetics, especially those which are not oil-free or non-comedogenic may actually affect the pores of the skin and later develop acne.

More women compared to men are getting infected with perioral dermatitis characterized by small pustules and papules form on the chin and around the mouth.

Men and women who love to wear tight hats, backpacks, jeans, or any tight gear and paraphernalia are at risk with developing acne because skin friction can create irritation and may eventually trigger acne.

Middle aged adults are most likely to get affected with Acne Rosacea. The effect of this kind of acne includes flushed face and red nose due to inflamed bumps.

Infantile acne affects newborn babies. This is a mild kind of acne caused by fetal hormones. After a few weeks, infantile acne just naturally disappears.

More men are affected with a severe form of acne called Acne conglobata. This kind of acne is an advanced form of nodular cystic acne vulgaris and this can extensively attack the face, chest and back.

Another interesting study states that occurrence of acne is higher among Caucasians compared to other colors.

About the Author

For more information on acne and who gets acne please visit Accutane and Acne

Top Acne Products – 4 Consumer Preferred Products

Top Acne Products – 4 Consumer Preferred Products

Article by 10acne

Acne patients are always in search for the top acne products in the market that suits their needs because it’s really hard to find the right acne solution suitable for the patient’s skin type. An acne-affected person should consider different aspects in choosing the right product like knowing if that certain product you’re eyeing is the right one for you or not. This is only possible if you’re knowledgeable enough in knowing the facts about the ingredients of acne products and paying attention as you read the product’s label.

1. In the early days of acne, patients prefer to use topical treatments to cure acne problems. Acne creams are available and can be purchased over-the-counter with a reasonable price everyone can afford. As one of the forms of top acne products, most acne creams are made to immediately heal pimples and breakouts from the first time they appear in the surface of the skin, preventing them to grow and form as another pimple. Daily usage is necessary for acne creams for the immediate treatment of the acne as well as the scar caused by acne breakouts.

2. Another form of the top acne products available is through gel lotion. As one of the topical treatment used by many to cure acne, acne treatment in gel lotion form has its similarity with acne creams when applied. This form of acne products is such a powerful product that could cause your skin to become sensitive to sunlight therefore using sunscreen with the gel is highly recommended. Though it could be a negative side of acne gel products that can be resolved, the power of the product in improving the overall appearance of those who use it is a big fact that it really works wonders.

3. Using products with active acne ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid in the form of a facial wash product is one of the popular and top acne products in the market. Everyday use of this form of acne product thoroughly cleanses the skin without causing dryness or flaking of the skin. Top acne products in facial wash leaves a protective healing film after washing that softens the skin as it protects the surface against bacterial infections acquired from environmental pollution and such. The use of facial wash as an acne product also helps in healing existing pimples, improve texture and effectively prevent future pimple outbreaks. Patients with oily skin truly benefits from using these products as it prevents the primary causes of having acne.

4. Everyone believes that the best way to treat this kind of problem is from the inside out. With the combined use of herbal medicines and active acne ingredients, an acne product in the form of pills is one of the popular acne products available in the market. Patients can see a difference in a span of a normal time frame of natural acne treatments which is about 2-3 months of use. Most herbal acne pills contain anti-oxidant ingredients that help destroy the harmful free radicals that often promote infections to the skin. Herbal acne pills are proven to be safe for both adults and teenagers, making it one of the top acne products ever sold.

About the Author

Author is the webmaster of Acne Products. Read the original article at Top Acne Products – 4 Consumer Preferred Products. More Top Acne Product and information available.

Acne Care: Which One Is The Best For You?

Acne Care: Which One Is The Best For You?

Article by Yani Danaatmaja

Acne care is a big business, and one that can be frustrating for people who suffer from severe acne. What cure might work for the average person might not work for an individual with cystic acne. Acne scars run much deeper than the surface of the skin, too. Chronic acne can batter a person’s self-esteem and greatly alter the way other people react to him or her.

While acne care for people with mild to moderate acne is not usually a terrible enigma, people with cystic acne, considered the worst type of acne, can be very difficult. For individuals that consistently develop cystic acne lesions or have lesions that will not go away, the majority of over-the-counter acne medications have little effect. In this event, the help of a dermatologist is usually needed.

Depending on the severity of your acne, your complexion, and how oily your skin is, a dermatologist has a wide variety of acne care options to control cystic acne or even remove acne scars. Oral medications are the oldest type of treatment for severe acne, but many of these medications are very harsh and have some very undesirable side effects. If a dermatologist does suggest an oral acne medication, you should inquire to the side effects and possible alternatives.

Lasers are becoming a more common solution for severe acne care. Lasers can even be used to remove acne scars, if used properly. However, an inexperienced laser operator can cause permanent scarring.

There are two types of lasers used to treat acne, called ablative and nonablative lasers. Ablative lasers are the oldest type and the most potentially dangerous. Both types of lasers shrink the oil glands, which slows oil production and prevents acne breakouts, but ablative lasers destroy the outermost layer of your skin. This causes the area treated by ablative lasers to be very red, sensitive, and painful until the skin fully heals. Because the scar tissue is destroyed, the skin that grows back will lack acne scars or wrinkles.

Nonablative lasers, on the other hand, do not harm the outer layer of skin, but get rid of acne scars by stimulating collegen growth. However, nonablative lasers, because they are gentler, require multiple treatments, while ablative lasers only require a single treatment.

Azelaic acid is one product that might help reduce the appearance of acne scars. This type of acid comes in the form of a moisturizer and is easily obtained over the counter without a prescription for acne care. Azelaic acid might not work for everyone, but many people have attested to seeing some reduction in their acne scars.If you do have chronic cystic acne that you cannot keep under control, a dermatologist may be a good option. Acne care for severe acne can be difficult, and the risk of acne scarring raises the stakes. In most cases, it is far easier and cost effective to deal with severe acne early rather than acne scars later.

About the Author

Yani Danaatmaja is editor of website http://eHealthyTips.com. To read more articles about Acne Treatments and other Healthy Tips, please feel free to visit the website.

Acne Why Do Some People Get It and Some People Don’t?

Acne Why Do Some People Get It and Some People Don’t?

Article by Lamar Deane

Acne and pimples is one of a teenagers worst nightmares, affecting more than 85% of the teenage population. Acne can be disfiguring, but its main effects are psychological which leads to low self-esteem.

What is acne?Acne is the result of hair follicles and pores that become clogged. The most common form of acne is known as acne vulgaris. This does not mean vulgar, it just means common acne. Many teenagers get this type of acne. The most common area affected is the face followed by the back, shoulders and chest.

Why do some people get acne and some do not?Although, much research and studies have been conducted in this field, no one knows for sure why one person gets acne and another person doesn’t. There are several factors that are associated with developing acne.

The following is a list of possible links to acne:

* Hereditary: Acne tends to run in families where other members also have developed acne. Family history of acne is associated with earlier occurrence of acne.

* Use of anabolic steroids: Steroids affect the process of pubertal growth and sebaceous glands. Sebaceous glands are connected to hair follicles which secrete an oily substance called sebum. When this process is altered (by steroids) these glands and pores get clogged up, resulting in acne.

* Medication: Any medication containing…lithium (treatment for migraine and cluster headaches, bipolar disorder, depression)…barbiturates (sedative/hypnotic drugs)…androgens (steroid drugs) contribute to acne.

* Hormones: Acne may be hastened by androgens, male hormones that are present in both women and men. These androgen hormones have long been faulted for acne. They stimulate the sebaceous glands, producing more oil, which leads to clogged pores and provides a breeding ground for the acne bacteria.

* Bacteria in the pores: Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) is the anaerobic bacterium that causes acne. When the sebaceous glands start to over produce oil, the p.acne invades the hair follicles and starts to multiply by feeding themselves of the oil using enzymes. Acne bacteria then produces fatty acids that inflame the skin. Red and white blood cells start to defend the body of this inflammation often causing an inflammatory response, that results in pimples, whiteheads, zits, swelling and pus.

* Chemicals: Exposure to dioxins not only causes acne-like pimples, but are among the most dangerous poisons known.

* Accumulation of dead skin cells: Acne begins when the oil (sebum) mixes with dead skin cells. This combination plugs up the skin’s pores and becomes infected with bacteria that oozes into nearby tissues, resulting in swelling, nodules, pimples or whiteheads.

* Stress: Stress doesn’t cause acne, but stress often makes it worse.

The first signs of acne should be treated as soon as possible.The earlier the treatment the better chance of getting rid of it before possible scarring. There are a variety of products and treatments for acne. You may have to try different ones to see which works best on your acne.

About the Author

Read other articles about Acne. What is it? How do you get it? How do you treat it? What causes it?Read what actual users are saying about this popular top selling Acne Treatment Click Here

Laser Acne Treatment – Is It Safe?

Laser Acne Treatment – Is It Safe?

Article by John Farina

Laser acne treatment is one of the fastest ways to reduce your acne but also the most frightening. This treatment is becoming mre and more popular and the effects of the treatment are sometimes noticeable after only one treatment. Laser acne treatment is a procedure that works for numerous individuals who battle with breakouts, but how do you know if it’s right for you.

Acne laser treatment is a method that has helped millions to get rid of acne. Acne is a skin disorder caused by excessive oil in the body. Acne skin care is vital for the patient who suffers from devastating outbreaks. Acne causes all kinds of grief, it’s an intrusion into anyone’s life.

Treatment is usually performed twice per week, and is over in one month. Treatment methods and tips for deep rooted acne scars. Treatments are safe, fast, effective and affordable.These Treatments are delivered in short “lunchtime” or after school procedures.

Laser treatments for acne scars is the most recommended by doctors. Laser acne scar treatment is also called laser resurfacing. Laser treatment is used not only to treat acne scars, but also to minimize wrinkles and other skin imperfections. Laser acne treatment is a relatively new and rather unconventional method of dealing. These treatments involve no surgery, no injections and no potentially dangerous drugs.

Scars from acne can seem like double punishment. First you had to deal with the pimples, now you have marks as a reminder. When acne leaves unsightly and even disfiguring scars behind, acne scar removal can make all the difference. Scars are common in people who have suffered from severe or cystic acne in the past.

Treatments for each type of acne differ, so it is important to see a doctor. Treatments are always done by a physician.

Body acne is usually characterized by large, painful nodules on any area of the body. Body acne is an embarrassing condition where acne affects the body and not just the face.

Oily skin is prone to acne since the excess oil cause clogging of the pores. Oil secreted by the skin glands and dead skin cells can create a clog in the pore. Oily skin requires the use of a moisturizer which does not contain oil.

Pimples can result in discolored patches of skin. Pimples usually occur on the face, but may occur in other parts such as back, hands etc. Pimples are small skin lesions or inflammations commonly arising from clogged or infected pores. Pimples appear in the age group of between 12 and 25 years.

Body acne is usually characterized by large, painful nodules on any area of the body. Body acne is an embarrassing condition where acne affects the body and not just the face.

Medical complications after laser surgery on acne scars are very rare. Medical studies report a significant reduction in lesions of patients who were treated with blue light for acne twice a week, for 5 weeks.

Laser acne treatment is a safe and proven way to get rid of and treat acne. The disadvantage of laser acne treatment is that most insurance coverage will not cover this procedure.John Farina is an online marketer and entrepreneur who specializes in onlineniche products. His new product, the insanely popular Acne Free In Three Days is now available. For more information, please go to:http://www.acnefreeinthree.com/.

About the Author

John Farina is an online marketer and entrepreneur who specializes in onlineniche products. His new product, the insanely popular Acne Free In Three Days is now available. For more information, please go to:http://www.acnefreeinthree.com/.

Acne Cure Home Remedy Try This Acne Cure Home Remedy For Fast Relief From Acne

Acne Cure Home Remedy Try This Acne Cure Home Remedy For Fast Relief From Acne

Article by remedyforacne

Millions of people have some form of acne condition and are frequently online looking for an acne cure home remedy to help them cure acne permanently. This article will discuss acne cure home remedies and more. Keep reading to discover how it is actually possible to get rid of your acne in just 3 days plus get FREE instant access to “The Five Basic Secrets For Clearing Your Skin” below.

There are numerous acne cure home remedies on the market to help cure acne. Acne cure home remedies and their effectiveness does vary greatly depending on the acne cure home remedy used and the individual using it. Many acne home cures are readily available at shops and online while other acure cure home remedies are for preparation at home.

One frequently recommended acne home cure is Colloidal Silver. This acne home remedy as an antiobiotic acne home remedy. It can be applied directly on the acne cysts or it can be taken orally. Some acne patients even take it with juice or with water as an acne home remedy to cure acne. Of course, Colloidal Silver is not intended as a medicine but for purely an acne home cure supplement.

Other than the acne home cure of Colloidal Silver there are also garlic capsules which are also considered to be a very effective and useful acne home cure and remedy for acne. Garlic capsultes are a great way to power boost the immune sytem which helps in killing the acne causing bacteria that breed in sebaceous glands.

An example of an effective acne home cure is the Kyolic Reserved Aged Garlic Extract Capsules. Just as with Colloidal Silver, this acne home cure is purely a vitamin and not for any medical conditions. These acne home cures also are odorless and lower your cholesterol levels.

Another effective acne home cure and remedy is the burdock and dandelion roots that have been shown to be very effective in combating acne. These herbal acne home cures and remedies contain inulin which is a very powerful substance to also help kill the bacteria that cause acne occurring.

Some of these acne home cures that I’ve discussed above are being frequently prescribed as very powerful acne home cures and remedies indeed which also have the added benefit of eliminating waste and toxins from the body.

Check out http://www.remedy-for-acne.com/recommends/acne-free-in-3-days.html toget FREE instant access to “The Five Basic Secrets For Clearing Your Skin” and learn how to be acne free in just 3 days.

About the Author

‘Acne Free in 3 Days’ is an all-natural acne solution that is guaranteed to be 100% effective: http://www.remedy-for-acne.com/recommends/acne-free-in-3-days.html Be acne free in 3 days and learn everything there is to know about removing acne and having beautiful skin. Expect results in only 3 days! Also visit our acne information resource site http://www.remedy-for-acne.com to learn more about acne cures.

Acne: Trouble Over the Counter – Benzoyl Peroxide Banned European Union

Acne: Trouble Over the Counter – Benzoyl Peroxide Banned European Union

Article by James Dalton

There are many over the counter (OTC) preparations for treatment of acne. Sold as lotions, gels, creams, and cleansers, OTC products can be a precarious buy and consumers should be aware that chemicals applied to the skin can also be absorbed into the body. The potential adverse effects of chemical agents make natural skin care products seem more attractive.

This is especially true for skin conditions such as acne and rosacea as harsh chemicals may only worsen matters. Synthetic chemicals can induce unnecessary inflammation beyond the confines of the sebaceous glands resulting in acne scars. Additionally, some chemicals can even be absorbed into the skin and have varying levels of systemic toxicity.

Benzoyl peroxide, the first topical agent for acne vulgaris, remains the most widely used OTC acne treatment in the United States. It is inexpensive to manufacture and widely marketed. Benzoyl peroxide dissolves comedons and has bactericidal effect by oxidizing proteins of the offending microbe, P. acne (Leyden, 1997). Though it may be effective for mild acne, benzoyl peroxide is not free from adverse effects according to the European Commission.

The most common adverse effect is extreme dryness of skin. It can also causes irritation, stinging, burning and peeling of skin. A formulation containing 2.5% benzoyl peroxide was found to have less burning and peeling of skin as compared with 5% or 10% benzoyl peroxide (Mills et al. 1986). Allergic contact dermatitis was found in 1-2% patients using benzoyl peroxide (Ives, 1992). It can cause bleaching of hair and clothing.

Temporary skin discoloration may occur if benzoyl peroxide is used with sunscreen containing para-amino benzoic acid (PABA). Similarly concomitant use of benzoyl peroxide with tretinoin can lead to severe irritation of skin. Benzoyl peroxide should not be used in pregnancy as its safety during pregnancy is not documented. The safety in breast-feeding women and children is also not established.

In animal studies, it was has found to induce skin cancer after 1 year of use (Kraus et al. 1995). Long-term studies are needed to profile its adverse effect in humans. Benzoyl peroxide has been banned for use in cosmetics by the European Union. OTC Acne treatments that contain benzoyl peroxide are included in this ban throughout Europe. Acne preparations made of benzoyl peroxide may contain various other chemical ingredients. Glycolic acid is a photo sensitizer and may be toxic to gastrointestinal system, nervous system and kidneys. Triethanolamine can form carcinogenic nitrosamine compounds on the skin or in the body after absorption. It may also elicit immune reaction in form of allergic dermatitis or asthmatic attacks. Diisopropanolamine may release carcinogenic nitrosamine compounds.

While, benzoyl peroxide can be used for short-term treatment of mild acne in the US, its long-term use has the potential to damage skin. On the whole, safer options that allow natural resolution of acne are recommended. Natural alternatives to benzoyl peroxide are calendula or tea tree oil (Bassett et al. 1990). Psidium guajava and Juglans regia leaf extracts were found to be beneficial in treating acne (Qadan et al. 2005). Granulysin peptides were also found to be effective against P. acne and may form an alternative therapy against acne in future (McInturff et al. 2005).

If acne are severe and not amenable to benzoyl peroxide treatment, one should consult a dermatologist for prescription drugs like topical retinoids (Tretinoin, Adapalene and Tazarotene), topical antibiotics (clindamycin, erythromycin), oral isotretinoin, oral antibiotics (doxycycline, minocycline).

References: 1. Leyden JJ (1997) Therapy for acne vulgaris. New England Journal of Medicine 336, 1156-62. 2. Ives TJ (1992) Benzoyl peroxide, Am Pharm NS32 (8), 33-8. 3. Kraus AL, Munro IC, Orr JC, Binder RL, LeBoeuf RA, Williams GM (1995) Benzoyl peroxide: an integrated human safety assessment for carcinogenicity, Regul Toxicol Pharmacol 21, 87-107. 4. Mills OH Jr, Kligman AM, Pochi P, Comite H (1986) Comparing 2.5%, 5%, and 10% benzoyl peroxide on inflammatory acne vulgaris, Int J Dermatol 25, 664-7. 5. Bassett IB, Pannowitz DL, Barnetson RS (1990) A comparative study of tea-tree oil versus benzoylperoxide in the treatment of acne. Med J Aust, 153: 455-8. 6. Qadan F, Thewaini AJ, Ali DA, Afifi R, Elkhawad A, Matalka KZ (2005) The antimicrobial activities of Psidium guajava and Juglans regia leaf extracts to acne-developing organisms. Am J Chin Med 33,197-204. 7. McInturff JE, Wang SJ, Machleidt T, Lin TR, Oren A, Hertz CJ, Krutzik SR, Hart S, Zeh K, Anderson DH, Gallo RL, Modlin RL, Kim J (2005) Granulysin-derived peptides demonstrate antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects against Propionibacterium acnes. J Invest Dermatol 125, 256-63.

About the Author

James Dalton is a freelance writer specializing in skin conditions including acne, rosacea, and eczema. Visit http://www.AcneResearchLabs.com for more information regarding natural skin care solutions including effective acne treatment and rosacea treatment for sensitive skin.