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Just trying to understand acne abit better really. Most treatments like anti-biotics, lasers, bp, gels, creams concerntrate on killing the bacteria. Very shrot term answer as the under lying problem of oil production and dead skin that blocks pours is still present. Based on what I have said about dead skin and excess oil where does the bacteria come in? What I mean is: If a person managed to kill every bit of bacteria on their face, surely the blocked pour would still swell up causing the skins surface to become raised and form a spot?

I ask this because I think I am killing alot of bacteria but I still have clusters of whiteheads. I use a strong Salacylic wash twice daily, a rich layer of BP(Quinaderm 10% BP) once daily before bed, and a clear skin acne lamp 15 mins daily staright after my morning shower with salacylic acid. Surely all of that lot must be killing most of the bacteria?

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You are on the right track in your thinking on this. The bacterial infection is a secondary cause of acne. The primary cause is that the pores don't shed properly. Even the oil is a secondary factor in acne. Antibacterials do help by killing the bacteria which is what causes the red, inflamed acne lesions. Antibacterials do not help unclog the pores though. So, killing the bacteria should help reduce inflamatory acne, but it will not do anything for comedonal acne (non-inflamed whiteheads and blackheads).

The salicylic wash is probably not on your skin long enough to have much of an effect. If you like salicylic acid, you might try a leave on gel or lotion (Paula's Choice makes some popular salicylic products). Other people have better results from glycolic or mandelic acid product, or possibly an OTC or prescription retinoid. These all help in different ways to unclog pores and to prevent them from clogging in the future. Another good option is azelaic acid (Finacea or Azelex) - these unclog pores and kill bacteria.

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Ive started using St.Ives scrub 3 x a week. I dont go crazy with it, just gentle exfoliation in a circular motion. Definately seems to have helped acne.

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Just relating to what you said willow about bacteria only being half the problem. How come then that anit-biotics that just kill bacteria will clear you completley untill they wear off? They are doing nothing to un-block pours so that kind of acne should still be present even when using antis.

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Just relating to what you said willow about bacteria only being half the problem. How come then that anit-biotics that just kill bacteria will clear you completley untill they wear off? They are doing nothing to un-block pours so that kind of acne should still be present even when using antis.

For some people, they do continue to get blackheads and closed comedones while on antibiotics. It depends on what your acne type was before going on the antibiotics. Also, non-inflamed acne starts off with a microcomedone - which is so small that you can't see it on the surface of the skin. These may continue to develop (unnoticed) while you are on antibiotics. They don't get inflamed, but they also don't go away, unless you are using something that exfoliates your skin and unplugs your pores (retinoids, BHA's or AHA's) Once you go off the antibiotics, there is a good chance that these microcomedones will get inflamed and turn into full blown pimples.

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