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If there is one thing that can be said about acne, it’s that no single treatment works for everyone. What could be a miracle treatment for one person may be ineffective or – at worse – leave you with some pretty severe horror stories. The medication that works great on blackheads may not produce the same results on someone who has small, red pimples on the skin. Or, cosmetics that effectively cover up spots on one skin type may smear or cake on another.
Whatever the case, it is clear that not all types of acne are created equal. This makes sense, especially considering that so many different factors can lead to or aggravate breakouts. However, information is power. Just knowing that there are different types of acne, and that each requires its own treatment plan, puts you well ahead of the curve. And once you understand what you’re dealing with, it gets much easier to treat it. That said, it’s important to keep in mind that finding the right acne medication may take time. However, here are 5 tips that will help you choose the right one:
1. Know Your Skin Type
Knowing your skin type is probably the first step to treating acne effectively. Before buying into any sort of treatment, it is important to understand how your skin type works in order to deduce how it would react to different treatment approaches. For example, acne medication that is specifically made to treat teenage acne will not work as well on adult skin.
However, there are certain general rules that you can follow. For instance if you have oily skin, it is best to opt for gel-based acne medication. For people with dry skin, acne cream products generally work best. And if you have combination skin, you should choose your acne medication based on the affected areas.
2. Check the Active Ingredients
One of the major disadvantages of acne – apart from the unseemly spots – is that it makes your skin more sensitive than normal. This means that you have to be especially careful about what you put on your skin. If not, it could aggravate your condition and lead to breakouts or even scarring.
To avoid this, start off with a product that has the lowest concentration of the active ingredient possible. The strength of your chosen product will also depend on your skin type, the acne type, as well as how well the acne responds to it. Using a high concentration product isn’t an effective way to treat acne, and may sometimes make the condition worse.
Some active ingredients could cause allergies while others are not recommended for use during pregnancy. In other instances, it might be important to you to use a product that is organic or vegan. According to Acne Authority, medication like lysine for acne works really well for vegetarians. So make sure to take all these factors into consideration before making a final choice.
3. Loose vs. Tight Skin
Before settling on any acne medication, you should determine whether your skin is loose or tight. On the one hand, loose skin usually traps bacteria and cellular debris that can cause acne to bloom. It may come across as wrinkles, but keep in mind that people with acne usually have a certain looseness that changes the contour of their skin subtly. On the other hand, tight skin doesn’t have any tiny lines that can give bacteria a home. This mean that you could get away with using milder products that do not have as many side effects.
4. Is Your Skin Pigmented?
Pigmentation refers to the color concentration on skin as it goes through the process of healing from acne blemishes. However, the natural pigments in your skin also act as antioxidants that can help stop inflammation. The flip side is that this process can leave spots or specks of discoloration on the skin. So you need to be especially careful to avoid products that could irritate or inflame your skin. On the other hand, non-pigmented skin doesn’t call or quite the same level of care since it is less likely to form spots.
5. Consult a Healthcare Professional
Doing your own research and staying informed is all well and good. It can help you get started on the right path to choosing the best acne medication for your skin. However, nothing beats consulting with a competent healthcare professional before making your final choice. A skin specialist can give you invaluable advice that can help you get the best product that will actually work for your skin.