How many times have acne treatments let you down?
Let’s say you have this friend and let’s call this friend Sue. You complain to Sue about your stubborn acne which refuses to leave you, no matter what you do. Now Sue says she knows someone who went to this dermatologist and got cured of some skin disease when no other doctor could. This dermatologist with magical skills certainly seems very interesting. If he can cure this problem when no one else could, maybe he can cure your acne too.
So you implore Sue to get the number of this doctor. She does that. You make an appointment with this magical doctor, let’s call him Dr. John. His receptionist says he can see you a week from today. You mark it in the calendar and can’t wait for your appointment. The day arrives and you reach the clinic early. You take a seat and wait for your name to be called out. Finally the moment arrives and you enter the consulting room full of hope, dreaming of having clear skin in 2 weeks.
Dr. John greets you and asks you how he can help you today. You can’t help but blurt out how your acne has been troubling you. You go on to describe how no matter what you do you always seem to wake up every morning with more acne than the previous night. Dr. John nods sympathetically pulling his prescription pad towards him. He begins to write something down. Watching him you think, finally the magical solution to my problems. Clutching the paper he gives you, you walk out elated right to the nearest pharmacy. After getting all the medications that have been prescribed you go home ready to start the treatments.
A week passes and you hardly see any improvements. Maybe it needs more time, you tell yourself. Another week passes by where you religiously apply all the ointments and take all the medications. At the end of this second week your skin still looks the same as it did 2 weeks back. To make matters worse it’s peeling a bit in places. How many times have you been in this place?
So why does this happen to you time and time again?
First, if you’re above 25 years old you are suffering from adult acne which is way different from the normal teenage acne. While both are caused by an imbalance in hormones, the teenage one is caused by changes in the body during puberty. If you’re an adult, your imbalance of hormones is caused by stress, improper diet, medications you take and lack of sleep. Unless you take measures to reduce of these factors your acne may not have an expiry date like teenage acne.
Medications prescribed by doctors like antibiotics, ointments, OTC creams work by trying to kill acne causing bacteria or reducing the sebum levels in the skin. The downside of this is the good bacteria are also killed and your skin dries out and gets sensitive. Your acne remains the same. Of course you will always be told that you need to use more of the ointments or take the medications for longer but if you see no difference after 2 weeks it is more than likely that you’re never going to see one. The other downside is that your immune system will be weaker and your skin much more sensitive than before.
While some of the bacteria that cause acne may be killed, all the other factors leading to acne are still around. You are almost never told to sleep and eat well along with your prescription. As a result the acne does not stop, or even if it does stop for a while, it most probably will come back.
So before you decide to take another round of antibiotics or apply OTC creams try changing your diet just a little to see if it does help even a little bit.