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Skin Care for Acne-prone Skin

Registered on 2012. 10. 15

Proper skin care can be just as important as the treatment(s) you use to clear your acne. Proper skin care can reduce possible side effects from prescription medications. Proper skin care can even help you prevent new breakouts once your skin clears.


7 Acne Skin Care Taboos

- How to Wash Acne-prone Skin

- How to Choose Makeup, Moisturizer, and Sunscreen

- How to Protect Your Skin from the Sun

- How to Shave if You Have Acne or Acne-prone Skin


7 Acne Skin Care Taboos

Dermatologists recommend that patients with acne and acne-prone skin avoid the following:


       Astringents, masks, toners, and exfoliators that contain scrubbing particles- Unless one of these products contains an ingredient used to treat acne, such as salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, these products do not help clear acne. In fact, these products tend to irritate the skin and make acne worse. These products also may make it more difficult to tolerate other acne treatments. 

       Greasy hair-care products- These hair-care products, such as pomades and oil-containing gels, can drip onto the skin and clog pores. This can cause acne.  

       Picking, popping, and squeezing acne- People pick and pop pimples to get rid of them quickly. The truth is doing any of these can irritate the skin and make acne worse. These also prolong healing time and increase the risk of scarring.  

       Skin care products that contain oil- Many skin care products from makeup to sunscreen contain oil. Oil can clog pores and lead to breakouts. Look for products that say “oil-free,” “will not clog pores” or “non-comedogenic.” 

       Rubbing alcohol -Some people apply rubbing alcohol in order to dry out the oily skin. This will not help clear acne nor prevent breakouts. In fact, it can irritate the skin and cause breakouts. 

       Tanning -Some people claim that their acne clears with sun exposure. The truth is tanning can be very damaging to the skin. If you are using a retinoid that you apply to your skin (adapalene, tretinoin, or tazarotene) to treat acne, you must:

            Protect your skin from the sun

            Not use a tanning bed or sun lamp - These acne medications cause the top layer of your skin to thin, which makes the skin very sensitive to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun and indoor tanning devices. Not using a retinoid for a few days will not reduce this sensitivity. Stopping for a few days can, however, reduce the effectiveness of your acne treatment.

            Tanning also increases one’s risk of developing melanoma and other skin cancers. Using tanning beds before the age of 35 increases one’s risk for melanoma by 75%. Melanoma is now the most common form of cancer for young adults 25-29 years old, and is the second most common form of cancer for adolescents and young adults 15-29 years old.

   Touching the skin throughout the day- It’s strongly advised that patients with acne and acne-prone skin not touch their skin frequently. This can cause flare-ups.


How to Wash Acne-prone Skin

Dermatologists recommend the following for their patients who have acne or acne-prone skin:

          Limit washing to twice a day – and after perspiring Once in the morning         and once at night as well as after perspiring heavily should be the limit.        Perspiration, especially when wearing a hat or helmet, can make acne worse,   so the skin should be gently cleansed as quickly as possible after perspiring. 

          Use a gentle, non-abrasive cleanserWash the face and other acne-prone        areas with a gentle, non-abrasive cleanser that does not contain alcohol.  

          Use your fingertipsApply the cleanser and wash with your fingertips. This         reduces skin irritation. Using a washcloth, mesh sponge, or anything else can   irritate the skin and lead to breakouts. 

          Never scrub your skin Scrubbing the skin does not clear acne. In fact,   scrubbing irritates the skin and can make acne worse. 

          Rinse with lukewarm water Be sure to thoroughly rinse away the cleanser      with lukewarm, not hot, water. 

          Shampoo regularly If you have oily hair, shampoo daily.



How to Choose Makeup, Moisturizer, and Sunscreen

Many acne patients are surprised to learn that they can wear makeup. They are often even more surprised to learn that moisturizer and sunscreen are okay to use while treating acne. Here’s what we recommend for patients who want to use these products while treating acne:

        Choose oil-free products. The label may say “oil-free,” “non-comedogenic” or             “won’t clog pores.”

It is important to know that even when a product says “oil-     free,” it may not prevent breakouts. You may have to experiment with different      oil-free products before you find one that works for you.

        Apply acne medication first. Here is the order that we recommend:

                Gently wash your face.

                Apply our acne medication. If the medication stings or burns your skin,     wait 5 to 15 minutes after washing your skin before applying the acne   medication.

                Apply moisturizer/sunscreen.

                Apply makeup. If you have trouble finding makeup that can be used with   acne medication, consult a dermatologist.


How to Protect Your Skin from the Sun

Dermatologists recommend sun protection for their patients with acne. Sun exposure is the most preventable risk factor for all skin cancers, including melanoma. Research shows that most cases of skin cancer can be prevented with sun protection. Sun protection also can help prevent sunburn when a patient uses a topical (applied to the skin) retinoid to treat acne. Skin becomes especially sun-sensitive when using these retinoids.The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that everyone protect their skin by following these sun-protection practices. 

         Generously apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or more to all exposed skin. “Broad-spectrum” provides protection from both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. Reapply approximately every two hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating.

         Wear protective clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses, where possible.

         Seek shade when appropriate. Remember that the sun's rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If your shadow appears to be shorter than you are, seek shade.

         Use extra caution near water, snow, and sand because they reflect and intensify the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chances of sunburn.

         Get vitamin D safely through a healthy diet that may include vitamin supplements. Don't seek the sun.3

         Avoid tanning beds. Ultraviolet light from the sun and tanning beds can cause skin cancer and wrinkling. If you want to look tan, consider using a self-tanning product, but continue to use sunscreen with it.

         Check your birthday suit on your birthday. If you notice anything changing, growing, or bleeding on your skin, consult a dermatologist. Skin cancer is very treatable when caught early.


How to Shave if You Have Acne or Acne-prone Skin

Men know that shaving when you have acne can be a challenge. Here are some dermatologists’ tips that can help give you a clean shave:

         Before shaving, soften the hairsWetting the face thoroughly with lukewarm water can help soften the hairs.

         ExperimentTry shaving with electric and safety razors to see which works best for you.

         Make sure the blade is sharpThis helps prevents nicks from a safety razor, which can irritate the skin and lead to breakouts.

         Shave lightlyThis can prevent you from nicking acne lesions. Nicks can make acne worse.

         Never try to shave off the acneTrying to shave off acne aggravates the condition and makes acne worse.


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