By Hadassah Agbaps - January 31, 2013

Here is an article I got from and wanted to share to divas with acne. I used to have severe acne on my face and back but now it has cleared out. Some of the products that worked for me are antibiotic, benzoyl peroxide cream and aloe vera. I still use them from time to time and aloe vera has been helpful in fading out spots.

Acne, also termed acne vulgaris, is one of the biggest challenges to women with brown skin who seek clear, glowing complexions.

In addition to the acne itself, women with brown skin also contend with hyperpigmentation - skin darkening in spots or patches - which occurs in response to the acne outbreak. This may result in long-lasting skin discoloration and permanent scarring of the skin and even social inhibition. Fortunately, with effective treatment, women with brown skin can have flawless skin. The first step is understanding what causes acne.

To understand exactly what acne is, we must begin below the skin's surface, deep in the hair follicle. The follicle, which is lined with skin cells, contains sebaceous glands that produce oil (sebum). Normally the skin cells that line the follicle are shed and brought to the skin's surface by the sebum and washed away. However, when the cells stick together instead of shedding, they form a plug or blockage.

A clogged pore is a commonly used term for a plugged follicle. Beneath the plug, a sac is formed (known as a microcomedone) that contains dead skin cells and oil. Bacteria (proprionibacterium acnes) grow freely in this environment, feeding on the dead skin cells and oil for fuel.

When acne appears, it does so on the face, particularly in areas where sebaceous glands are abundant, such as the T-zone - the forehead, nose and chin. Often in adult women, it occurs along the jawline and lateral cheeks.

Acne is divided into four types:
Comedones (closed and open): Whiteheads and blackheads. ( I had this mostly)
Papules: Small or larger red or skin-colored acne bumps.
Pustules: Bumps filled with white or yellow pus.
Nodules and cysts: Very large pus-filled, often painful acne lesions.

Since dark marks or blemishes are such a problem for women with brown skin, we often use heavy, oil-based makeup or foundation to cover the marks. This can both cause and exacerbate acne. Vigorous washing of the skin with rubbing and scrubbing, or using puffs or abrasive sponges can also cause or worsen acne.

The treatment of acne involves reducing the bacteria, decreasing the oil, unplugging the follicles and reducing the inflammation. Additionally, in women with brown skin, it is important to treat the hyperpigmentation. There are many medications available for the treatment of acne, including:

Topical antimicrobials – Topical benzoyl peroxide has both antimicrobial (inhibits or kills bacteria) and comedolytic (reduces comedones) properties.

Topical Antibiotics – To kill the bacteria (P. acnes) that cause and exacerbate acne pimples and cysts, your dermatologist may prescribe topical antibiotics. Antibiotics are also helpful in decreasing the inflammation that is characteristic of acne.

Oral Antibiotics – Oral antibiotics are generally more effective than the topical variety. They work by killing the bacteria (P.acnes) that is responsible for acne and they reduce the inflammation that occurs in acne. However, it is important to note that oral antibiotics control but do not cure acne. Also, there are side effects associated with the oral antibiotics, including upset stomach, dizziness, headache, increased sun sensitivity, yeast infections, rash and hives and even lupus-like syndrome.

Topical Retinoids – Since topical retinoids are extremely effective at unplugging pores, they are essential to the treatment of acne. They treat both inflammatory lesion of acne and the non-inflammatory lesions of acne.

Oral Retinoids – A derivative of vitamin A, isotretinoin (Accutane, Sotret) is one of the most powerful and effective oral medications developed to treat acne. It's indicated for the treatment of severe, cystic acne or scarring acne that does not improve with standard acne medications.

Cortisone Injections – Corticosteroid injections will diminish large, inflamed acne cysts within a day or two.

Laser Therapy

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