When should someone start acne treatment is a very common question. Since everyone gets acne at some time. And the answer is when it becomes bothersome or when the potential for scarring develops. This can be when severe acne flares suddenly, or mild acne that just won’t go away, or even when a single pimple decides to show up in a special moment.
Our skin is as individual as we are, so what works for one, may not work for another, but here are some self-care activities that you can make at home and which might help your skin condition to prevent pimples and clear up your acne and that dermatologists recommend helping you get the best results from your acne treatment:
Nutritional science and common sense tell us that a healthy, balanced diet is the key to a healthy body and healthy skin, so try to enjoy a varied diet and keep a personal record (some dermatologists call this a ‘skin diary’) of anything you eat that you think may trigger blemishes and acne in your skin, so you should eat a healthy diet with minimal refined sugar.
Try to keep cool and dry in hot and humid climates, to prevent sweating and to shower after exercising to eliminate the sweating, so wash your skin as soon as possible after sweating.
Avoid excessive sun exposure and tanning beds, which can damage the skin and also increase the production of sebum. Several acne medications make the skin very sensitive to ultraviolet (UV) light and increase the risk of sunburn.
Also very bad for the skin are anxiety and stress, because the increased production of cortisol and adrenaline exacerbate acne.
Refrain yourself from touching the face. Touching your skin throughout the day can cause flare-ups and spread the bacteria.
Try to hold the telephone away from the face when talking, as it is likely to contain sebum and skin residue that can worsen the acne, like spectacles that need to be cleaned regularly.
If acne is on the back, shoulders, or chest, try wearing loose clothing to let the skin breathe. Avoid tight garments, such as headbands, caps, and scarves, or wash them regularly if used.
Keep hair clean, as it collects sebum and skin residue. Avoid greasy hair products, such as those containing cocoa butter and also keep it out of your face.
Cleansing and skincare
The cleaning part is the most important part of the routine of skincare, and everybody should be very careful with it, especially the ones with acne-prone skin.
Try to wash your face not more than twice each day with warm water and a mild soap made especially for acne; this will keep the skin clean and minimize sensitivity and irritation. Cleanse skin with an oil-free cleanser in the morning and evening, be sure to remove all make-up before you go to bed at night. Choose cleansers and treatment products that have been specially formulated for blemish-prone skin and acne. Use only products that are proven non-comedogenic, alcohol-free, or water-based products. Choose makeup for sensitive skin and avoid oil-based products.
Wash hands frequently, especially before applying lotions, creams, or makeup. Use your fingertips to apply a gentle, non-abrasive cleanser. Using a washcloth, mesh sponge, or anything else can irritate the skin. Do not use products that irritate your skin, which may include astringents, toners, and exfoliants. Dry, red skin makes acne appear worse.
For men it is very important to use an electric shaver or sharp safety razors when shaving. Soften the skin and beard with warm soapy water before applying shaving cream.
If you are undergoing medical acne treatment, make sure you use products that are compatible with your therapy.
Open the pores
Occasional visits to an esthetician who is an expert at safely removing blackheads during a facial can be beneficial.
You should not scrub the skin or popping and squeezing pimples because you spread bacteria and excess oil causing more blocking, swelling, and redness and also you increase the risk of getting acne scars. Playing with or popping pimples, no matter how careful and clean one is, nearly always makes bumps stay redder and bumpier longer. Let your skin heal naturally.
In conclusion, today, virtually every case of acne can be successfully treated. If you have questions or concerns about caring for your skin, you should see a dermatologist for the best advice. Do not use the internet for self-made treatments that can worsen acne. Dermatologists can help treat existing acne, prevent new breakouts, and reduce your chance of developing scars.
Dr. Anca Mincă, dermatologist
Spitalul Clinic Colentina, Bucharest