Over 90 percent of teenagers have a bout with acne, but it's not just an adolescent problem -- more than 50 percent of adults also suffer from blemishes.
Despite all the antibiotics prescribed for acne (Tetracyclin, Doxycyclin, Accutane -- to name a few) in many cases, the acne returns, and is considered incurable. Patients are often coached on how to "live with it" or "accept themselves the way they are."
Aside from the physical discomfort, acne patients can suffer serious psychological trauma. They feel ashamed of their appearance, and some even feel the acne is their fault. And of course, this kind of stress tends to aggravate the acne and make breakouts worse. It's a vicious cycle.
Adding to this vicious cycle are several myths about acne. Some of the more popular myths include: greasy foods cause acne; chocolate causes acne; zits are caused by dirt; the more you scrub, and dry-up your skin, the less you'll break out.
Dr. Terry Dubrow, a plastic surgeon based in Newport Beach, Calif., says first a patient must understand the true origins of acne (genetic) and then find a proper cure. He visits The Early Show on Thursday to shed some light on the subject.
According to Dr. Dubrow, acne has four distinct stages, and you must attack all four in order to wipe it out. The stages are:
- Dry cells mixed with sebum and block the pores;
- Sebum ballon builds up behind the clog;
- Bacteria infect the build-up
- Curative inflammation spreads the condition.
In an effort to combat all four, Dr. Dubrow has come up with the Acne Cure. The following is his Acne Cure program:
Step 1 SALICYLIC ACID. (Morning and night) Clean away excess dead cells and bacteria from the skin's surface, without over-drying it. The best ingredient to wash your face with is a 2 percent salicylic acid product (widely available in drugstores). Put a penny-size amount in the palm of your hand, add a few drops of warm water, lather, and massage (in circular motion) to affected areas. Let the SA sit for a few minutes, then gently wash off with warm water. The SA has two benefits: an anti-inflammatory, and an antioxidant for the skin's surface.
Step 2 GLYCOLIC ACID. (Only in the morning) After you've rinsed away the SA product, apply 8-10 percent glycolic acid product, in an identical manner. Let it sit and wash it off with warm water. The benefits of GA: digs deeper down (while the SA cleans the surface) to loosen "cemented-in" plugs.
Step 3 BENZOYL PEROXIDE (Only at night) Wash off SA and run an ice cube over the affected areas, to cool and soothe (be careful not to freeze the skin!) Apply the BP (kept cold in refrigerator), but run ice cube across palm of hand, so product doesn't warm up when you rub and apply to face (in identical manner as the SA and the GA). Leave the BP on for 10 minutes, and lie down with ice packs on the affected areas (opens pores, reduces inflammation, relaxes you). When you're through, wipe off excess BP with a soft cloth. Allow the rest to sit overnight.
Step 4 MOISTURIZER (Morning and throughout the day) Apply an oil-free moisturizer to the face with an SPF of at least 15. Sun reduces the skin's resistance to bacterial attack.
Once your face (neck, and back too) are in the clear, patients must follow-up with a maintenance program.
Read an excerpt from his book:
"Dr. Terry Dubrow's wife, Heather Paige Kent, star of the CBS drama That's Life, awoke one morning, appalled. "Terry, look at my face! I've totally broken out. I'm due on the set in three days. Is there anything you can do?"
Of course, Heather knew that her husband, a board-certified plastic surgeon and director of the Acne Clinic of Newport Beach, California, had been working on protocols to cure acne quickly and safely. What she didn't yet know was that he had finally found the answer. The panic she felt was based on her assumption that acne is only partially treatable, if at all.
That assumption is false. This is the truth:
acne can be completely eliminated in
95 percent of all cases even the most severe
ones in 6 weeks or less. These techniques start
to work in 24 hours.
In the remaining 5 percent of the cases, the Acne Cure program will generally reduce the severity of acne. Later in the book, we will discuss what additional steps you can take to get rid of the remaining traces of the disease - even in the toughest cases.
Whether you're White, Black, Asian, or Hispanic; whether you're a teenage boy with pimples or a mature man suffering from acne aggravated by razor bumps and ingrown beard hairs; whether you're a teenage girl who feels she can't get a date because of her zits, or a woman whose face is disfigured by the blotchy inflammation of severe acne, your condition can be cured.
When we say "cured," we mean that in almost all cases -even the toughest - the acne cure program we describe in this book will eliminate virtually all blemishes, inflammation, redness, whiteheads, and blackheads within no more than 6 weeks. Milder cases may be resolved in only a few days or even - as in Heather's case - overnight. Sure, there may be recurrences (although they are unlikely if you stick to the maintenance program), but they too can be rapidly resolved, usually in just a few days.
And if that isn't a cure, we don't know what is!
Some purists argue that getting rid of the symptoms but knowing that in some cases they may return means that this is not a full cure. All we know is that, like hundreds of Dr. Dubrow's other patients, male and female, Heather's acne disappeared. Three days after her skin eruptions, Heather went back to work with a smile on her face, and not a blemish in sight.
In the next few chapters, we will describe exactly how the cure works. However, first you have to understand what skin is, how it works, and what you can do to keep it healthy throughout your life. Not only is healthy skin less likely to be attacked by acne or other skin diseases, but it also looks so much better.
And who doesn't want young-looking, healthy, glowing acne-free skin?