Dealing with acne can be challenging. It’s not “just a few pimples” as many presume. Acne takes its toll not only on one’s appearance, it can also affect one’s self-image, self-esteem and, ultimately, relationships with others. That’s why acne shouldn’t just be ignored.
If you are suffering from acne, here are some basic guidelines to stir you in a right direction:
– Do protect your skin from sun exposure. Use sunscreen, wear hats with wide brim – whatever it takes. Tanning can make skin condition seem to improve at first, but also it promotes skin shedding. As a result more dead skin cells end up in your pores increasing your chances for more pimples.
– Do use moisturizer. Depriving your skin of necessary moisture will not improve your acne.
– Do make sure that sunscreen and moisturizer you are wearing are non-comedogenic. Same goes to anything you put on your face – make up, even eye cream. As surprising as it sounds, your eye cream can be aggravating your acne. Cream particles are capable of traveling all over your face and clogging up pores.
– Do use several treatments if one is not enough to achieve the result. I find that face wash with salicylic acid paired with benzoyl peroxide cream/lotion works better than either product alone. Watch out for skin irritation, as some combinations of treatments may be excessively harsh.
– Do seek professional medical help if over-the-counter treatments failed. Your acne may require a different approach.
– Don’t use alcohol containing toners/astringents – they strip skin of necessary moisture, and irritate your skin, thus promoting acne.
– Don’t start several new products at once, that way you won’t know what actually works or what causes side effects should you get them (exception can be made for a system of products such as Proactiv Solutions or Neutrogena Skin ID).
– Don’t delay treatment. Acne may go away as you get older, but don’t wait. It’s important to start treatment early to prevent scarring.
– Don’t pop your pimples. Doing so can push bacteria deeper into your skin. This in turn can promote the inflammation and lead to extensive scarring.
– Don’t expect any treatment to clear your acne overnight. It takes about 2 weeks for a new pimple to form. Any treatment will take at least that long to work. An exception would be products that are designed to reduce visibility (t.e. redness and swelling) of existing pimples.
– Don’t give up. Acne may not be curable, but it’s very treatable. It just takes time and some experimenting to find out what treatments work for you.