Sunday, June 10, 2012

Grades of Acne & Appropriate Treatment

Grade 1:  Minimal blackheads, whiteheads and papules (red pimples). Treat w/ Salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, tea tree oil, sulfur, and triclosan.  Try Murad Gentle Acne Treatment Gel and Murad Pure Skin Clarifying Supplement.  L-Lysine supplement also improves skin healing and is great for collagen.  I suggest everyone with acne try this, use consistently.  I take 2-3 pills 2x a day.

Grade 2:  Consists of more then 10+ blackheads, whiteheads, inflammation, papules, pustules ( inflamed papule with white or yellow center containing pus), redness, milia (pearl like mass of sebum and dead skin cells under the skin more common in dry skin).  Same treatment as Grade 2.  If VERY oily try Murad Acne Exfoliating Treatment Gel.  Spot treat papules & pustules overnight with Acne Spot Treatment.  Birth Control can also be beneficial for acne grade 2-4.

Grade 3:  More red and inflamed then Grade 2.  Consists of 15-20 blackheads, whiteheads, cysts, papules, pustules, milia and found on face, neck, chest, back, arms and shoulders.  The most common grade of acne and  has a higher risk of scarring and deep pitting.  Look for treatment from a dermatologist, Retin-A  can do wonders.  Can be treated with Murad Acne Exfoliating Treatment Gel, if you have dry skin do not use this gel.

Grade 4:  Severe acne case.  Cystic acne (a closed sac of fluid./infection under the skin.  Tender, painful and cannot be extracted.)  Extreme redness, pustules, papules, whiteheads (may even be yellow or green implying infection), blackheads, and milia.  Oral & topical treatment is necessary from a dermatologist.  Treatment can range from topicals: Retin-A cream, Differin gel, Tazorac, Azelaic Acid and/ or Clindamycin.  Antibiotics: Sulfa (reduces oil production for very oily skin).  Accutane (oral acne antibiotic only given for most extreme cases. Warning! There are many side effects including depression, health problems, sever dryness, birth defects).  There are plenty more options for severe acne cases and should be discussed with your doctor or dermatologist.

  • Acne prone skin that feels/looks leathery and thick is under exfoliated.  A vitamin A derivative like Retin-A or Renova is available through a dermatologist and is a topical peeling agent that flushes out follicles.  Acne prone skin in general benefits from topical exfoliants.
  • Acne can be affected by genetics, hormones (male hormones-androgens, puberty, menstrual cycle, birth control), stress, diet (fast food, greasy/fried foods, sugar, excessive salt, processed food, dairy (try cutting dairy and add soy to your diet), cosmetics & products (make sure you use oil free products, avoid synthetics fillers like silicones, dimethicone, silica.)  Double check the ingredient list-many companies label their products, non-comedogenic (non pore clogging) or oil free misleading buyers.
  • Even if your skin is extremely oily, it needs to be hydrated.  Use a oil free moisturizer like Murad Acne Perfecting Lotion.  It is formulated for oily and acne prone skin, controls breakouts and oil.  For those using prescription acne medications, you may need more moisture.  Some like CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion and even Murad Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture (even with the avocado, sunflower, olive fruit oil and shea butter) this moisturizer is a favorite among Retin-A  and Accutane users and doesn't cause breakouts.
  • Accutune should ONLY be the LAST resort.  If your doctor or derm. is handing out Accutane prescriptions like skittles-RUN FAST.  The health risks are not worth it and they are being lazy about treating your skin correctly.