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Zit Bits by Tracy Hansen, APRN, FNP

I used to think acne was limited to the pizza faced puberty days. Once I got older, my skin would be zit free and flawless…. Boy, that dream fell short! Here I am in my 30’s still getting a zit from time to time. Don’t get me wrong, my face is not terrible, but still something I am dealing with. My point with this introduction two-fold;

1. it does not matter your age acne can be a problem and….

2. something I can help you with!

We don’t always think of going to our primary care provider for acne treatment. Media tells us different, going to Walmart and going down the facial aisles tells us different. We are to buy 1000 different creams and use them and that will get us perfect skin. The truth is much different! There are certain key ingredients that are proven to work clear up mild acne, and if after a few weeks you are not seeing the results you are looking for or if your acne is more severe, a visit to my office can be the next best step.

So, lets start with the treatment of mild acne…..

Mild acne can be treated with over the counter salicylic acid acne wash and 2.5% benzol peroxide cream. A couple of points here:

1. Salicylic acid works as a keratolytic, this a fancy word that means it helps from your pores getting clogged.

2. 2.5% benzol peroxide works as a topical antibiotic. Additionally, this should not be used a spot treatment, rather applied to the entire face; twice a day

3. 2.5% benzol peroxide does not mean 10%.... Studies have shown 2.5% work as well as the higher strengths creams, but with less drying.

If you have more moderate or severe acne, or simply want to get better faster; we can add other prescription treatments, which can include some or all of the following:

1. Birth control pills: Helps to control hormonal flares in females

2. Topical antimicrobial treatments: Stronger that over the counter treatments

3. Oral antimicrobial treatments: Works better than the topical treatments

4. Topical retinoids: These work as keratolytic, but again are stronger than the over the counter salicylic acid

5. Topical anti-inflammatory creams

Having acne is difficult. Being a teen is difficult. Now, being a teen with acne is REALLY difficult. If acne is something you or your child are struggling with; come talk to myself or another provider at Murray County Clinic! Let us help get your skin looking great! Please call Murray County Clinic and make an appointment today!

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