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A complete guide to treating your acne: from ‘Minimal’ to ‘Severe’.

This is my complete guide to acne treatment options in a series of 3 posts, this one will help you to identify what kind of acne you have and the other two (linked in this post) will suggest products and help you to build a routine for your type of acne.

From minor breakouts to full-blown cystic acne, most people suffer from some form of acne at one point or another. Acne can be a pretty tough thing to deal with, especially when companies take advantage of this fact by throwing wave after wave of useless products out there to compete with the ones that actually work.

The great thing is that acne, for the most part, is totally treatable.

Now i’m going to preface this by saying that obviously all skin is different so the advice I post here may not be entirely applicable to you or the products may not work well for you. The aim of this guide is show you what to look for in your skincare if you’re trying to sort of your acne and I’ve thrown out a couple of suggestions along the way. As with all skincare, finding products that work is a pretty hit and miss process. All I can do is help you to hopefully score more hits with your purchases than misses!

Firstly, if you already know which type of acne you have you can skip this and go right into building a skin care routine for yourself.

 

Click here if you have moderate to severe acne.

First, some pictures so we all know what we’re talking about. I found all of these at the hugely helpful acne.org.

Click to enlarge!

Now that you know what’s on your face, let’s figure out what kind of acne you have.

Below is a little chart (everyone loves a good chart, right?) that details the 4 main types of acne and the symptoms associated with them.

For example, I get the occasional zit and have some blackheads but for the most part my skin is clear – that puts me in the ‘Minimal’ category. Mild, obviously, is just a step above Minimal. This includes people who (aside from the things listed in Minimal) also tend to have at least a few inflamed looking spots on their face at any one time

Moderate is the more serious-looking acne. Moderate acne is when you have blackheads, whiteheads and inflamed spots either in large clusters or all over your face. Then we move on to Severe acne. This is characterized by nodules (which are large, hard and often painful bumps under the skin) and cysts (similar to a nodule but filled with pus, again very painful and large).

One sub-type of acne that i’ve skipped is hormonal acne. Most teens tend to get hormonal acne in tandem with puberty but these hormones will regulate themselves soon enough and in the meantime you can deal with your acne like everybody else does. It’s not very common for guys to have hormonal acne past puberty but if you think you might (possibly after exhausting every other treatment option), go to a doctor and get your levels checked. Hormonal acne later in life tends to be more of a problem for women in which case birth control or herbal supplements like Spearmint Tea seem to help a great deal.


So now you have your acne type down, how do you treat it?

Each type of acne has a specific course of treatment that’s clinically proven to be effective. Below is another beautiful chart that corresponds to the first, these are the treatments that’d probably work the best for your type of acne. For reference, OTC stands for ‘Over-The-Counter’ – products you can buy in a store or online.

So if you have minimal acne like I do, you can probably keep it in check using products you can buy in a store or online. If you have mild acne, chances are that you too will be able to keep your acne under control using products you can buy yourself. If your acne is on the more stubborn side of Mild, you might want to see a doctor or dermatologist than prescribe a mild course antibiotics or a weak retinoid (usually Differin).

If you have moderate acne, you probably won’t be able to control your acne solely through products you buy for yourself, simply because they won’t be strong enough. The best option is to see if your skin responds to topical benzoyl peroxide (which you can buy for yourself) and if not, go to a doctor or dermatologist to get some antibiotics or higher strength retinoids to deal with the acne. If you have severe acne and you’ve tried antibiotics and retinoids to no effect, your only option will probably be oral retinoids – otherwise known as Accutane. Accutane is a pill prescribed to people with severe acne and it has a phenomenal success rate. The downside is that, as with any drug, there are potential side effects: the mildest being dry skin and headaches and the most severe; organ damage, birth defects and depression. As you can see, Accutane isn’t a treatment option to be taken lightly but it does work and many people are happy with their results.

So hopefully by this point you know what kind of acne you have and how to go about treating it. Next up i’m going to go through a few of the most widely-successful treatments (as well as some personal favourites) when it comes to managing acne.

I’ll start with a blank routine and then suggest some products you can use to fill each slot. For the ‘Moderate to Severe’ category i’ll talk a bit about using retinoids in your routine as well as a few skincare tips for those on Accutane.

I’ve decided to put these on separate pages so that you don’t have to sift through a massive load of text to get to your specific acne type. Click on the relevant link below!


Minimal to Mild.

Moderate to Severe.

Good luck with your treatment!
 

Author Description

Dil

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Comments (2)

  1. Connie De Alwis Wednesday - 09 / 06 / 2010 Reply
    Excellent post! The zit identification chart was particularly helpful. I have minimal acne.
  2. ♥akisa♥ Thursday - 10 / 06 / 2010 Reply
    hi, thanks for stopping by my blog!! I have been looking for men's skincare blogs for a while (with unsuccessful Google results). Your blog's a real gem! Keep up the great work~

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A complete guide to treating your acne: from ‘Minimal’ to ‘Severe’.
A complete guide to treating your acne: from ‘Minimal’ to ‘Severe’.
A complete guide to treating your acne: from ‘Minimal’ to ‘Severe’.
A complete guide to treating your acne: from ‘Minimal’ to ‘Severe’.
A complete guide to treating your acne: from ‘Minimal’ to ‘Severe’.
A complete guide to treating your acne: from ‘Minimal’ to ‘Severe’.
A complete guide to treating your acne: from ‘Minimal’ to ‘Severe’.
A complete guide to treating your acne: from ‘Minimal’ to ‘Severe’.
A complete guide to treating your acne: from ‘Minimal’ to ‘Severe’.
A complete guide to treating your acne: from ‘Minimal’ to ‘Severe’.
A complete guide to treating your acne: from ‘Minimal’ to ‘Severe’.
A complete guide to treating your acne: from ‘Minimal’ to ‘Severe’.
A complete guide to treating your acne: from ‘Minimal’ to ‘Severe’.
A complete guide to treating your acne: from ‘Minimal’ to ‘Severe’.

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