Friday, March 02, 2012

Managing pimples and skin care problems

Used when giving talks or interview.
Speaking in events and appearing on television poses a lot of challenge especially if you are in a competitive industry. It makes you cautious about the gadgets you carry, clothes and shoes worn, and how you look.

For folks like me, one thing that I don’t fancy anymore is wearing make up and only do so when it is really necessary. Working on projects though can affect sleep and neglect routines that should be done before taking a nap.

Of course, such abuse can take its toll on your skin. Usually have my share of pimples popping out at areas near the chin or nose. It freaks me out whenever it happens. When sign of the first one appears, it raises a red flag and will do whatever I can to stop it there.

Cleaning it often, use of anti-acne moisturizer, getting more sleep, eating normally (rather than being in a hurry with whatever is available) usually does the trick. My acne is gone in no time at all.
When time permit. for maintenance.

Of course, not all are as lucky as I am. My experience on treating it and how fast my skin responds does not necessarily apply to others.

Having done skin care type of campaigns and going out with relatives who seek for skin care remedies made me much more aware on this form.

What causes pimples or acne? Part of it would be your pores being clogged by dead skin cells. Another would be oil building up in that area. When a portion is affected, acne bacteria multiplies fast if your skin is oily. It turns red and swells as your immune response fights off the bacteria proliferation.

I hate the swelling part for it feels like growing “piksa” on your face which is something that I can’t take.

A variety of treatments are available in the market. Most of them are more focus on solving the problem as it is now.

Spot treatments

Spot treatment is the most commonly used method of treating acne, reactively. These are cheap, easy to apply, and promises healing overnight. However, these products mostly have ingredients like salicylic acid or high concentration of benzoyl peroxide at 5% to 10%.  Some cause redness and stinging sensation. Worst dark acne marks.

I still have some of these acne and sun marks in my cheek area and manage to lighten it using a concealer as needed.

Today, whenever I avail of facial treatments from skin care center, the personnel would spot early signs of acne build-up. Whenever this happens, I usually ask about the products they use. Does it have benzoyl peroxide? 

If 5% or up or the person doesn’t know, usually do not pursue in having acne treatment included. Just simple cleaning will do.

Another spot treatment method is topical antibiotics like clindamycin. These kill the acne-causing bacteria. However, doctors strictly recommend that people using antibiotics should be under their supervision. Wrong application of antibiotics in general may cause bacterial resistance – making the person “immune” to the healing benefits intended.

This partly scares me and begs the question, “Can a person with acne - develop bacterial resistance – or become immune to treatments out there with clindamycin?”

Oral drugs

When I began seeing ads of supplements being marketed that can make your skin whiter or younger, it made me wonder if the same is available for acne treatment. Much like the same way when I take medicine to combat allergy before or after eating some seafood.

When acne is severe, some dermatologists prescribe oral drugs like isotretinoin or hormonal pills. There are studies that these methods are extremely effective for severe cases. 

But how about the side effects? For example, there were reports in 2010 linking suicidal tendencies and psychotic behaviors among acne patients on isotretinoin. Hormonal pills, which are mainly indicated as a contraceptive sometimes causes water retention, weight gain, mood swings, and in the long run, even breast cancer.

Acne treatment injection

For the price of Php 130 – 300 per pimple, I was tempted once to avail of derm clinic acne injections. The Philippine Dermatological Society is campaigning for awareness among Filipinos to patronize only the services of highly qualified doctors, and not to be too trusting of attendants in average facial centers who may not have the proper training and experience to do this. This type of procedure is extremely painful, and when done by inexperienced hands, may cause you to be scarred for life. Also, expensive if a person constantly suffers from acne.
Used when first sign of pimple appear.

In-house or commercial brands

Acne treatments come in different form and packaging. Some clinics have white-labeled designer packs that costs up to P10,000 pesos. As much as I love my favorite skin care centers, I will think twice whether to buy in-house unregulated skincare items as I don’t want to take the risk of being a trial patient testing these products (and paying for it). Worst, if it doesn’t work, it is money down the drain and spending more in treating acne problem.

We have many options in treating skin care problems. Best to get well-tested products passing clinical trials and offers guarantee to consumers.