Dealing with acne? Double up on treatments

Let’s face it… we see a pimple on our skin, and many of us go into freak out mode and try to get rid of it FAST! Acne is something nearly 50-million Americans deal with every year. In this week’s FOX28 HEALTH CHECK, it’s time to face the facts… Are you treating your acne the best way you can?

It’s a teenager’s nightmare and for Kristen Miller, a high school junior, it was reality. She says, “I’ve struggled with acne pretty much throughout middle school and the beginning of high school. It was hard for me to look people in the face because I felt like they weren’t looking at me, they were looking at the spots on my face.”

After trying nearly ever over the counter wash, lotion, and zit zapper out there, Miller thought, “I didn”t know what else to do, so maybe I should see a dermatologist for it.”

Dr. Donna Hart of the South Bend Clinic says, “80% of Americans have dealt with acne at some point in their lives.” She combined treatments for Miller’s acne, something new research from the American Academy of Dermatology proves is the best option.

Dr. Hart says acne has 4-components, and you want to target ALL FOUR: inflammation, plugging of the pore, bacteria in the pore, and more oil secretion. Dr. Hart says, “In South Bend… you think about football. You have to work on your defense, your offense, your coaching, and your special teams. If you’re just doing one or the other, you’re not going to have a successful win.” Fighting this problem could require a team of treatments.

So the first step is to determine YOUR type of acne. Dr. Hart says, Do you have more whiteheads and blackheads, or do you have more of the cystic acne, deeper acne. That will kind of guide your treatment options.” She says for mild acne, combine topicals like as benzoyl peroxide and retinoids. But for severe acne, she says, “You want to consider an oral antibiotic sometimes in place of a topical.”

Dr. Hart had Miller combine topicals with an antibiotic to kill the bacteria under her skin. Miller says it took 3 or 4 months or so to notice a substantial change. But now, Miller uses only topicals when needed. Miller says, “A lot of other things that I tried that people said would work, didn’t work for me. And I can say that this did. It’s definitely made me a happier person and made me more confident.”  A big score, for someone who has finally tackled this persistent problem.

As far as diet and what foods can help bring about MORE acne, Dr. Hart says, “The strongest evidence that is out there is research on milk. There’s been some good large studies that have shown people that drink and consume a lot of skim milk actually get more breakouts on their face.”

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