I’ve never met anyone who loved their acne. It’s not fun for anyone: often persistent, causing frustration, and even social anxiety. Acne isn’t just a teenage problem either, it can occur at any age. Unfortunately, many over zealous and well-intentioned in the fight against the dreaded pimple may end up doing more harm than good. Let’s take a look at some common acne habits:
Keep your hands off your face: touching your face with oily, dirty hands increases the likelihood of (further) breakouts. And if there’s one thing we’ve learned in the pandemic, human hands are just not that clean.
Don’t be a pimple popper: I know, redundancy here since you’re already not touching your face, right? But as tempted as you may be to pimple pop- don’t do it! You’ll create an open wound and risk the entry and spread of dirt, oil, and bacteria; including pesky gram positive bacterium Propionibacterium acnes. You also risk pushing the blemish gunk deeper inside your skin, increasing inflammation, and even risk scarring. Sounds like a bad idea, right? It is! Save yourself the grief and don’t do it!
Stop over washing: a few things can happen here, one being irritation of already angry skin, causing even more of an acne flare. Secondly, every face wash strips skin of its natural oils. Overly oily skin may not be a good thing, but dry skin means irritated skin, and you may actually trigger oil over-production. And what can this cause? You guessed it, worsening acne.
Don’t be a quitter: many people will try an acne treatment, become frustrated after a few days or week without seeing improvement, then move onto something else. Clearing acne completely can take months depending on severity, and any one acne treatment needs a good six to eight weeks to see real results. On top of that, trying multiple acne products at once or in quick succession can cause further irritation and worsening of breakouts.
Still not clear? If you’re struggling to see improvement on your own, it may be time to make an appointment with your Dermatology provider. As frustrating as acne can be, with the right treatment, clearer skin is totally within reach.
Ruth Sager PA-C