Posted by: JD | 2012-11-07

inflammed face

My young relative has very bad untreated skin, her face looks like she has severe sunburn, it is red and inflammed with acne. She doesent eat much fruit and vegetables.
What inexpensive treatment can you advise? Creams/supplements? Vit A, probiotics, anti inflamatories, antibiotics perhaps? She is not on a medical aid and receives a small grant..

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Our expert says:
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Hi JD, thank you for the question and my apologies for the long delay with my response but we have just recently arrived from our London practice.

Your best option would be to consult a dermatologist or your family doctor who can examine the acne lesions and advise you on the best treatment options (it sounds from your description that the acne will need prescription strength treatments such as antibiotics or Roaccutane). Alternatively the following may be considered (if no improvement is noted then the above route should be followed):

At home regime:
1. Do NOT pop, squeeze or pick at acne as this can make acne worse by spreading inflammation. With medical treatment, removing lesions is rarely necessary; however, when comedo removal is needed, it should be performed by an experienced healthcare professional.
2. Gently wash your face twice a day with a mild cleanser and pat dry. Acne is not caused by poor hygiene, and vigorous washing and scrubbing will not clear your skin. In fact, scrubbing, exfoliating, and using hard brushes or granules can irritate your skin and make the acne worse.
3. Use “noncomedogenic” (does not clog pores) cosmetics and toiletries. When buying cosmetics and other products that you will use on your skin or hair, be sure to look for ones labelled “noncomedogenic.” Makeup, sunscreen and toiletries that are not likely to cause acne state that they are “noncomedogenic” on the product.
4. Avoid aggravating your acne:
a. Oily hair, sporting equipment that rubs against your skin and airborne grease—all can irritate and make your acne worse.
b. Ways you can avoid these situations include:
i. If you have oily hair, keep it off your face and wash it daily.
ii. Avoid using hair care products that contain oil, such as pomades and gels.
iii. Wear cotton clothing or moleskin under sporting equipment to avoid skin-to-equipment contact.
5. Give acne products enough time to do their job. As a rule of thumb, it takes 6 to 8 weeks before you begin to see an improvement. My suggestion is to try an over the counter benzyl peroxide containing cream.
6. Avoid excess exposure to sunlight, and do not use tanning booths or sun lamps. Contrary to popular belief, tanning does not clear acne; it simply masks acne. Tanning also increases one’s risk of developing melanoma and other skin cancers. Additionally, some acne treatments can increase the skin's sensitivity to sunlight and ultraviolet light from tanning booths and sun lamps. If you have acne, it is important to protect your skin by following sun-protection practices, such as wearing sunscreen and avoiding sunburns.

If after following these guidelines, you are not satisfied with the results from your acne treatment, be sure to see a dermatologist. Today, almost every case of acne can be cleared, especially with a dermatologist's help.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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