Tips for Managing Acne
Good skin care practices can make a difference
If you or a loved one is suffering from acne, you're not alone since acne is the most prevalent skin affliction in the United States. The American Academy of Dermatology offers the following tips for controlling your acne and getting the most from your acne treatments.
- Don't pop, squeeze or pick — It can be very tempting to try to get rid of acne by popping pimples and digging at blackheads, whiteheads and other acne lesions. In reality, these practices tend to make acne worse by irritating the skin and can cause infection and permanent scarring.
- Be gentle to your skin — Avoid scrubbing with a puff, washcloth or abrasive cleanser, which can irritate the skin and make acne worse. Instead, wash the acne-prone skin twice a day with a mild soap or cleanser and rinse with warm water, using your hands to gently clean and rinse in a circular motion. After exercising and sweating, wash off the sweat and oil as soon as possible.
- Use oil-free products — Skin products that contain oil can clog pores and cause acne to worsen. If you have oily skin or are prone to breakouts, use cosmetics, sunscreens and skin care products that are labeled as "oil-free" or "noncomedogenic."
- Treat with over-the-counter medications — Mild cases of acne can be treated with products that are available without a prescription. Products containing benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, alpha hydroxy acids and sulfur are proven to remove excess oils from the skin or remove dead skin cells and accelerate the growth of new skin cells. However, severe cases of acne often fail to respond to these medications. After washing is the best time to apply acne products.
- Get help from a professional — Waiting for acne to clear up on its own can be very frustrating. Thanks to breakthroughs in medical skin care technology, virtually any case of acne can be successfully treated and controlled. After a thorough skin examination, the Birmingham, AL skin care experts at Hedden Plastic Surgery & Spa Greystone can help you find the right treatment or combination of treatments that are the most effective for you or your child.
- Give acne treatment time to work — Most acne treatments can take from 1 to 3 months to see an improvement, so be patient and give your skin the time it needs to heal. Treatments are usually continued after the skin clears to prevent future breakouts.
- Don't tan to control acne — In the world of skin care, nothing good comes from getting too much ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun or in a tanning bed. A tan may seem like a good idea to temporarily mask acne, but can actually make the condition worse. Excessive exposure to the sun has a cumulative effect that can cause sun-damaged skin, early signs of aging, wrinkles, pre-cancerous lesions (actinic keratoses) and skin cancer.