The purpose of acne treatments should be, to not only heal acne but also give you gorgeous, glowing skin. Let’s face it, we all want clear skin. Not just clear skin but skin we are comfortable in. Skin that has people looking at you in sheer envy!!
Clear skin that is dry, flaky and red, is not really skin that we want now, do we? Sadly when it comes to acne, most acne treatments available, focus on just killing the bacteria that cause acne. And when they kill the bacteria they also harm the healthy skin.
Now, once you stop using these treatments, the acne comes back. You are now forced to start using these treatments again. I do not think I need to tell you what a vicious cycle this is.
Here are 2 acne treatments that are fine for short term use but may actually harm your skin if used for a long time.
Now I’ll come right out and say it. If you hold a gun to my head I would choose antibiotics any day over Accutane. But antibiotics are not things to be taken lightly either.
Acne is caused by a lot of factors that come into play. Dead skin cells that stick around, a pore that gets blocked with these cells, oil that builds up in the pore and finally the bacteria that grow in an environment created by the previous factors.
Antibiotics work by killing all the bacteria. Not all bacteria in our body are bad. We have good bacteria in our body that help with digestion for example. Antibiotics kill these bacteria as well, which is why a tummy upset is one of the side effects of taking antibiotics.
While this may work short term taking antibiotics for a long time may work against your body and actually make your acne worse. Long-term use of antibiotics may lead to health problems other than acne.
Benzoyl peroxide (BP) works by killing the acne causing bacteria in your skin. However, bacteria alone are never the cause of your acne. Even people with clear skin have bacteria in their skins.
You probably already know that there are whole acne treatments based on just BP alone. They involve slathering your whole face every morning and night with benzoyl peroxide. While I am sure it does work because the poor bacteria have no chance against a boat load of BP. But then neither does your poor skin have a chance with all that BP.
BP used for a short time may help you heal. However, long-term use may make your skin red, extremely sensitive to the sun and flaky. Do you know what sensitive skin feels like? Try and imagine that I rub your face hard with sand paper and then ask you to go out in the sun. Yes, that is exactly how sensitive skin feels.
Also how long can you use BP? Are you going to continue using everyday for the rest of your life? Because the minute you stop slathering your face with BP, the bacteria are going to start thriving again and hello acne. Do you have to cart your BP to camping trips and holidays?
While BP may heal your acne, you will spend at least a year or so trying to heal your sensitive skin. So think twice before you decide to use it as a long term treatment.
These 2 acne treatments may work for some people. You can try them for a short time i.e 3-5 days for antibiotics and about 2-3 weeks for the benzoyl peroxide. Beyond that, you are setting yourself up for other health problems and skin issues.
Let me tell you my experience with these 2 treatments. I tried antibiotics and BP in my teens, then my 20’s and 30’s. It did not work even a little bit. Both had absolutely no effect on my acne. My biggest mistake was listening to doctors who increased the strength of the antibiotics and the BP. Again with no effect on acne but I was left with digestive problems and extremely sensitive skin. It took me a while to figure out the connection and then it took me years to fix my sensitive skin.
So learn from my mistakes and use these treatments with extreme caution. If you are battling adult acne for a while, say more than a year, you are better off trying to heal your skin by treating the root which may be excess inflammation in your body or imbalanced hormones.
These 2 issues can be cured by small changes in your diet. Trust me you do not have to overhaul your whole diet, unless of course your diet consists of fast food for every meal. Check out this article where I explain why diet is the first step to clear skin.