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Keep pesky zits at bay

Keep pesky zits at bay
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One of the things you really want to keep away from your growing up days memories are the ones of nasty breakouts, especially before you had that happening date or a party. However, acne is not just limited to teenagers as grown up are also affected by it.

And come summers, the problem only accelerates, reason why those with oily skin dread the season. There are many factors that can contribute to acne breakouts during summers — sweat, outdoor pollutants, dirt and dust which worsen the condition.

Pimples usually occur due to hormonal changes, the usage of greasy products on the skin and stomach problems.

Primarily, they occur due to overactive and enlarged sebaceous glands (which produce oil). For women, the situation aggrevates one or two weeks before their menstrual cycle.

We sweat a lot more in summer and most of us are more likely to use stronger sunscreens during this time of the year. While not all factors might be under our control, keeping the skin oil-free and washing our face properly once or twice a day with a gentle cleanser can help. Also, use moisturisers and sunscreens which are water based.

Says Dr Sirisha Singh: ‘To prevent pimples, one must follow a thorough cleansing regime, drink adequate water, eat fresh fruits and vegetables to cool down the skin and provide the anti-oxidants that the skin requires. If in spite of all these pimples continue to occur, one should visit a dermatologist.’

Treatment depends on the skin type and the kind of pimples one has. One can also opt for herbal remedies like clay masks to soak the extra oil and use products that contain tea tree oil.

Another thing which works is aloe vera which has a cooling effect on the skin.

According to consultant dermatologist and cosmetologist Dr varun Katyal: ‘Medicinal treatments may include ointments containing benzoyl peroxide, retinoids or alpha or beta hydroxyl acids which remove the blackheads and whiteheads. These will be combined with antibiotic gels or ointments.’

‘Antibiotic tablets or retinoid tablets may also be used in more severe cases of pimples,’ he adds. But retinoid (vitamin A derivatives) tablets have several side effects and these must be carefully discussed with the doctor and also require strict monitoring through blood tests, etc.

Singh adds that it is better to start the treatment with medications and reduce the chances of scar formation.

One can then proceed with maintenance with herbal options.

Are there any side effects to the medications? Doctors say that usually there are none, but some people may experience dryness and irritation of the skin to counter which you can always use  a good, mild moisturiser. If you are develop allergic reactions to a product, then stop using it immediately. Don’t take the tablets on an empty stomach because it might just lead to loose motion.

For permanent cure, take tablets with retinoids. But these are strong medications and can have side effects (including increase in amount of fat in the blood). Avoid taking them if you are pregnant, because they have harmful effects on the baby. It is therefore mandatory that one uses a robust method of contraception while on the tablets and for three months after stopping the medication.
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