Acne Cream – How to Choose and How to Use

Finding the right treatment for acne can take time. The different types of acne have different treatment approaches. Treating acne truly requires patience. There are treatment options that do work for some, but do not for others, which are why acne treatments as skin specialists would say, require a trial and error approach.

There are also treatment options that actually take some time before one can see improvement results. Other treatment products on the other hand are not suited for certain conditions such as age, acne and skin type. Treating acne effective requires patience in finding the right treatment suited for each patient.

Knowing the things to consider will help in finding the right acne treatment. An acne cream is probably one of the most used acne treatment; from over-the-counter medication creams, prescription medication creams to even creams from natural remedies. However, one must know the following to get effective treatment before using any.

How to Choose an Acne Cream

Know the Skin Type

Knowing one’s skin type is probably the first step in effectively treating acne. Before purchasing any over-the-counter cream, one must know the skin type one has. Some acne medications are specifically made to treat acne on teenagers’ oily skin, which will not work best on dry skin of adults.

A skin specialist will also help one determine the skin type, and therefore be able to prescribe a cream suited for that particular skin. Basically, people with oily skin should opt for gel based acne products, while acne cream products are well suited for those with dry skin.

For people with combination skin, a product must be used depending on which area is affected. For instance, if acne affects oily areas of the skin then gel products must be used and as mentioned earlier, the cream ones are the choice for acne on dry areas.

People with sensitive skin should also start with a cream of the lowest strength of the active ingredient possible. Usually the concentration or strength or the amount of active ingredient in the product is represented in terms of percentage.

A high concentration cream product is not always the most effective and sometimes it will make the acne worse; it will further irritate the skin by making it more dry, therefore triggering an increase in sebum production. A mild acne cream must be used for those with sensitive skin. The strength of the product to use will also depend on the skin type, the acne type and the response of the acne to the medication.

Different types of creams contain different active ingredients. The chemicals benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are common drug actives contained in over-the-counter cream acne treatments. It is better for people with sensitive skin to use those with salicylic acid content. Other acne products may also contain natural ingredients such as plant extracts. One should be careful in choosing an acne product with a natural ingredient as it can also be irritating especially to sensitive skin.

Know Other Important Factors

As mentioned earlier, different types of acne cream may contain different kinds of active ingredients. Some active ingredients of acne products will interact with certain medications and some are not recommended for use for certain conditions such as during pregnancy. Also, some people are allergic to certain drug products. Prior to using any acne medication, it is best to inform the health care provider all the necessary information needed to prevent any drug interactions and harmful effects.

It is also helpful to learn more about each acne medication and its active ingredients. Researching a bit more about the effects on how it will treat acne and what possible side effects come with it can help one determine which acne cream he/she is willing to try.

Consult a Healthcare provider

Once a patient is equipped with the previously stated information, one can choose from a variety of creams for the treatment of acne. One can seek a skin specialist’s advice as to what acne medication should be used. In the end, it will still fall into a trial and error scheme in finding the cream that will actually work for the patient.

How to use a Cream for Acne

An acne cream is only applied on the skin. The proper use of these acne products may vary per person as it will also depend on what type of active ingredient, the strength of the product and the response of the patient’s acne to the medication.

Usually these creams are for spot treatments only. Each cream will have specific dosing instructions on the label. It is best to strictly follow it to get most out of the medication. If the cream is doctor prescribed, it is best to strictly follow the doctor’s dosing instructions as well. Improvement results may take some time, therefore it is advised to complete the treatment duration. However, if it does not improve, consulting the doctor should again be done. It will also help to follow these basic steps in applying acne cream on the skin:

  • Wash hands before and after applying the acne medication
  • Gently wash and dry the affected area
  • Gently apply the medication to the affected area until evenly distributed
  • Avoid applying the cream on irritated skin like sunburns, open wounds and the like