Acne is a complex skin condition. Generally, there is no one treatment that is right for every person. There are some accepted practices that have been found helpful for many however. For some, these are all they need to keep a clear complexion. Others may need medical intervention.
Diet Does Matter
It has been debated, but studies have now been coming down on the side of diet influencing acne.
A diet high in refined carbohydrates, sugars, caffeine, --pretty much anything that is considered unhealthy-will be bad for your skin also.
What is good for your skin? Well, the simple answer is a well balanced diet. But to get more in depth, a low glycemic index diet has been found to be especially good for adolescent acne problems.
It has to do with hormones and insulin loads. I will include a link at the end of this article to read more about it.
The optimum diet for acne prevention would also include generous amounts of olive oil, flaxseed oil, sunflower seeds, salmon, albacore tuna, and pumpkin seeds. These are rich in essential fatty acids and omega oils. Pumpkin seeds are also a good source of zinc, which is known to have a beneficial effect on acne.
Omega oils have an anti-inflammatory effect on not just the skin, but on your system in general-including your arteries. This is wonderful for acne, because inflammation is the enemy. Anything you can do to calm the skin you should. Include omega rich oils and foods whenever possible. Replace that butter slab with olive oil or an olive oil spread.
Also, instead of refined grains, go with whole grains. When you get used to whole grain bread, white bread tastes....well...tasteless. Get rid of candies and junk food, and replace them with fruits. Within a week or two, your body will be feeling the difference, and most people's skin will be beginning to clear.
Topical treatments are another consideration. The over the counter stand by has been benzoyl peroxide. It does work quite well for many, but it does have some draw backs. It can be extremely drying for some, and it can cause some bleaching of the skin ( and not just the skin-your clothing..sheets..etc). It works by having that drying action, but also by having an anti microbial action.
Salicylic acid is a great ingredient. It is an exfoliant that has the property of being able to penetrate the pores and break up the keratin build up that is clogging them. It is the most penetrating of the hydroxy acids and does the best job of clearing the skin and keeping it clear.
Tea Tree or Manuka Oils are essential oils that work as anti bacterial and anti microbial agents. Studies have been finding that they are as effective as benzoyl peroxide in treating acne. I am a firm believer in manuka oil. I find it not only anti bacterial, but also calming to the inflammation.
There are certainly more topical treatments, and if you see your dermatologist he/she can prescribe oral or topical therapies. Retin-A, Tetracycline, Minocycline, Clindamycin, etc. Cystic or severe acne should never be treated at home. Let your dermatologist treat these conditions. These are complex and sometimes home treatment can delay treatment or aggravate the condition....both of which can end up doing you potential permanent harm. Let the pro's care for severe cases.
For everything else, do your research, and treat yourself with care!