Acne is the most common skin condition in the US, occurring in men and women of nearly all ages. Chances are, you have had (or are having) acne breakouts, so you are very familiar with this topic! Let’s review what you can do to reduce and treat acne.
What is acne?
Acne occurs when dead skin clogs your pores, and then when the body makes sebum (oil) to keep your skin from drying out, it gets clogged by the dead skin cells. The oil then causes these dead skin cells stick together inside the pore. Sometimes, bacteria that naturally live on our skin (p. acnes) also get into these clogged pores, causing inflammation. The inflammation makes the skin red & swollen, then an acne cyst or bump appears.
What can you do about it?
*Use products with salicylic acid, glycolic acid or benzoyl perozide. These ingredients help to clear your skin by reducing swelling & redness of the skin and also unplugging blocked pores.
*Wash your face as soon after exercising as possible. This will help to clear out your pores that may have collected additional bacteria and sweat from your work-out.
*Don’t over-cleanse your skin! Wash your face once or twice a day (AND after sweating or working out), but not more than that. Cleansing the skin too much can actually cause your skin to produce more oil (by stripping too much of the skin’s natural moisture out).
*Be gentle with your skin. Unless advised by your dermatologist, avoid harsh exfoliants that may further irritate already inflamed skin.
*Moisturize your skin! If you skip the moisturizer, your skin cells sense that the skin is dry and produce MORE oil! Look for a moisturizer that is oil-free and non-comedogenic.
*Wash your hair regularly if you have oily hair or use a lot of hair gel or other product. This can then get into your pores (commonly at the hair line, neck, or upper back) and aggravate acne.
*Avoid too much sun exposure. Certain active ingredients in acne products can make your skin more sensitive to UV light. Tanning or sunburns then further irritate the skin
*Try to avoid picking at the skin. Picking can spread the bacteria further under your skin and may cause (potentially permanent) scarring.
If your acne is more severe or you have been doing the above for a few weeks and the acne is still hanging around, it may be a good idea to see your dermatologist for further treatment. From there, the treatment will depend on your specific case. A few treatments he or she may recommend include:
*Prescription medication. While you can get a variety of acne medications OTC, there are often prescription-strength versions that may be more effective for you.
*Chemical Peels. Your dermatologist has chemical peels, in particular- salicylic acid peels, that can penetrate your skin more deeply and clear out the pores. Milder versions are sometimes available OTC, but we would recommend having a dermatologist or esthetician perform the peel because they know best how to adjust the peel’s strength to your skin’s needs. Peels are also great after your skin has cleared to help flush out the dead skin cells that could lead to future acne. See the chemical peels that we offer at Beverly Dermatology here.
*Oral medications. There are some prescription oral medications that help improve acne. These are typically used for acne due to hormonal imbalances.
If you have acne concerns, give us a call today at 949-831-3057! Alisa Wang, our PA, specializes in acne treatments and can help your skin to be beautiful & clear!
As a quick note – if you no longer have acne, but you do have the scars, there are treatments that we do in our office that can help, such as chemical peels and IPL treatments
Find out more about acne:
American Academy of Dermatology https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/acne-and-rosacea/acne