Put Your Best Face Forward

The time for prom is almost here and so are the memories that come with it. Of course, it's best to be remembered for how great you looked that night instead of how bad your breakout was.

What is Acne?Before treating the problem it's best to know just what the heck it is. Acne, besides being a pain in the rear, is caused by oil and bacteria forming within your pores. Disgusting, I know. According to 10 Acne.com, "When bacteria, which naturally occurs within the hair follicle, starts to break down the material accumulated within the clogged pore, irritating fatty acids are produced. This will cause pressure to build up within the pore, and the pore will be swollen. Redness and inflammation also occur in response to the infection."

The first step at alleviating the problem can usually be found at your local drug store. If your pimple problem is rather mild, this is definitely the most cost-effective approach. Keep in mind though, not all products are created equal. "Over-the-counter products aren't inherently bad, but they do vary in quality," says Dr. Karl Beutner, associate clinical professor of dermatology at UC San Francisco and co-author of the American Academy of Dermatology's acne treatment guidelines.

When choosing the remedy you think might work for you, it is important to think of your skin type as well as looking at the ingredients listed on the backs of the bottles. Do you tend to have dry skin or oily? Are you sensitive to different fragrances or lotions? If you dry your skin out too much, it can cause irritation and redness. No one wants that on prom night.

Sometimes over-the-counter solutions aren't enough. According to the Academy of Dermatology, more than 40 percent of teenagers have acne that requires seeking specialized help. Right now you can get lost in the amount of treatments to choose from – and your wallet may get lost too.

Between chemical peels, dermabrasion, laser treatments and prescription medication, it's hard to know where to start and what method will work best for you. 10 Acne.com has put together a list of the top 20 acne medication reviews for 2010. Before starting any treatment, it is imperative that you see your doctor first.

Looking your best at prom is totally stressful. But if you take skin saver steps now you'll have one less thing to freak out about later.

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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