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Few events make you feel less attractive than a skin eruption. Bumps and inflammation usually take you by surprise and can be hard to camouflage. Knowing the causes of these distracting beauty disasters will help you determine how to treat them and prevent future breakouts. Say good-bye to blemishes and hello to smoother skin.
There's probably not a woman alive who hasn't broken out in pimples at some point. Mild acne eruptions can be treated with over-the-counter (OTC) lotions and pads containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Morning cleansing and nighttime makeup removal with an oily skin formula cleanser, along with daily shampooing, help keep excess oil or sebum at bay. Multiple pimples, including nodules or cysts, are a sign of severe acne. These cases call for the help of a dermatologist, who might prescribe antibacterial topical treatments, antibiotics, certain birth control pills or a hardcore zit-zapper called isotretinoin. It may take up to two months to see major improvements.
Whiteheads and Blackheads
Pimples aren't the only types of acne breakouts to plague women everywhere. Blackheads and whiteheads both fall under the heading of comedones, which are caused by the clogging of hair follicles with excess oil. Blackheads are noticeable because the follicles are open and the plugged oil looks dark. Whiteheads are flesh-colored because the follicles are closed. Their raised texture is the only thing that makes them visible. Like moderate pimples, comedones can be banished with OTC treatments containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, along with careful cleansing. Avoid overly drying products with all types of acne, since they can kick oil production into overdrive.
Like acne, hives appear on the face and body. These equally annoying outbreaks produce inflamed bumps or patches ranging from rather small to several inches in diameter. They can even connect into groups called plaques, and can sting or itch. Unlike acne, hives can be serious if ignored. They're often caused by allergies to medications, food chemicals, insect stings and even the sun. Sometimes, hives breakouts will happen for no apparent reason. Antihistamines help with eruptions and outbreak prevention. Sometimes, doctors prescribe corticosteroids, and adrenaline shots or cortisone help in severe situations.
Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, rates pretty high on the list of skin aggravations. Eczema is an ongoing condition that usually appears behind the knees and on the arms. Eruptions come in the form of itchy, bumpy dry patches that are sometimes covered in silvery scales. Eczema sometimes causes oozing and crusting when resisting scratching becomes impossible. Avoiding harsh soaps, rough fabrics and other irritants helps prevent outbreaks. Eczema that causes constant, life-disrupting discomfort can be treated by a doctor with antihistamines, corticosteroids, antibiotics or immune system drugs depending on the type of eczema.