Acne cream is a skin care cream which is used in the treatment and management of acne. Some acne creams are designed to be used during an outbreak, while others are meant for routine usage to prevent the appearance of acne. Depending on the region, many creams may be available over the counter, while others may be prescription-only. Some people have to experiment with several before they find a cream which works for them.
Over the counter acne cream is sometimes referred to as pimple cream or zit cream, referencing common slang terms for acne. People should be careful about which acne cream they use, as acne products are not always effective. Creams which promise immediate results, for example, are usually stretching the truth.
This skin condition is characterized by blockages in the pores of the skin. Despite numerous studies to look into the causes of acne, researchers have had trouble pinning down the precise reasons why acne emerges. Diet, hormone levels, skin type, and infections have all been posited as possible causes for acne, and acne creams work in a number of different ways to address each of these suspected causes.
An acne cream designed for prevention may include antibacterials to discourage the growth of pore-blocking bacteria. Others may simply be designed as cleansers to remove excess buildups of oil from the skin, while others work by drying the skin. Hormone creams may be used in some cases, and it is also possible to find topical applications which are designed to change the lifecycle of the cells in the skin, reducing the potential for blockage and the development of acne.
When an outbreak occurs, other creams are available to reduce the size of the acne spots, and to prevent the spread of acne. Many of these creams work by drying the skin so that it does not have an oily or greasy appearance, and some are designed to reduce scarring and pitting from recurrent acne. Acne scarring can become quite severe in serious cases of acne, especially if the patient picks at the acne. Creams with acid which are designed to promote the shedding of the upper layers of the skin are also available.
It is possible to use an over the counter acne cream for home management of acne, but going to a doctor can be a good idea in severe cases of acne. Dermatologists are often informed about the latest acne research and medications, and they may be able to provide tips for managing acne. A doctor can also write prescriptions for more intense acne creams which may be necessary for people with severe cases. It is also possible to take oral medications to manage acne, and to make lifestyle changes which may reduce breakouts.