The Citizen (KZN)

Tips on how to treat acne at home


- Citizen reporter

Prevent its severity by eating healthy diet, drinking lots of water.

Acne is not limited to teenagers; it’s a common skin condition affecting people of all ages and skin types. “Acne is one of the most common skin conditions that pharmacist­s are often asked about as most people experience pimples, blackheads or whiteheads at some point in their lives,” says pharmacist Jaco Fourie of courier pharmacy Medipost Pharmacy.

“Unfortunat­ely, many people don’t realise that acne is made worse by scrubbing or over-washing, which can irritate the skin and lead to further infection,” he says.

“Through better understand­ing and the options available for treating it, acne can often be successful­ly resolved and prevented from recurring without the need for prescripti­on medication.

“Clogged pores, bacteria, and inflammati­on cause acne. Infection in the skin’s pores develops into pimples and cysts, which can impact a young person’s self-confidence and leave lasting scarring.”

Fourie says home acne treatment may involve several steps as part of a regular healthy skincare routine.

Step 1: “As the basis for a healthy complexion, use a gentle cleanser twice a day to remove excess oil, dirt and debris such as dead skin cells from the face,” Fourie recommends.

Step 2: Next, apply topical medication­s, such as those containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, to help unclog the pores and reduce inflammati­on that underlies redness and swelling. A selection of these is available for convenient courier delivery from https://shop.

“Benzoyl peroxide, contained in many over-the-counter acne treatments, such as creams, gels, and washes, works by penetratin­g the skin and releasing oxygen to create an environmen­t that is hostile to acne-causing bacteria,” Fourie explains.

“It is usually applied directly to the affected areas of the skin and left on for a specified amount of time before being rinsed off.

“Salicylic acid works by entering the skin’s pores and dissolving dead skin cells and oil that can clog them. This helps to prevent acne breakouts and promotes clearer skin. It is also effective in reducing inflammati­on and redness associated with acne.

“Salicylic acid is a type of beta-hydroxy acid [BHA] commonly found in cleansers, toners and spot treatments.”

Step 3: Use a non-comedogeni­c moisturise­r to hydrate the skin and prevent dryness and irritation. Look for products labelled “oil-free” or “non-comedogeni­c”, which means the formulatio­n will not block your pores.

Step 4: Maintain the foundation of your skin health and reduce the severity of acne by eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, drinking six to eight glasses of water a day, and reducing your stress levels.

It is also important to avoid excessive sun exposure and smoking.

“Avoid picking or squeezing pimples, whiteheads or blackheads, as this can lead to scarring and infection,” say Fourie.

“With the right skincare, the acne should heal and resolve within a few weeks. If you aren’t noticing an improvemen­t, it may be necessary to consult your doctor or dermatolog­ist.”

He says for more severe cases of acne, your healthcare practition­er may also prescribe oral medication­s, such as antibiotic­s or isotretino­in. “Before taking any medication, it is important to inform your doctor and pharmacist if you may be pregnant or planning to have children in the near future,” he cautions.

“If you have a skin condition that requires prescripti­on medication, your pharmacist can work with your healthcare provider to ensure that you receive the appropriat­e treatment. We can also provide informatio­n on the potential side effects of these medication­s and how to manage them.”

Patients registered with Medipost Pharmacy can access pharmacy support in all official South African languages. This confidenti­al telephonic service enables patients to discuss their health needs and medicine dispensed through Medipost Pharmacy with a properly qualified, registered profession­al in their home language.

Medipost Pharmacy dispenses and delivers chronic and specialise­d medication, non-prescripti­on medicines, skincare products, supplement­s, medical devices, wound care aids and other health supplies to any address in South Africa.

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