If you’re living with acne, you’re not alone. Up to 50 million people in the United States experience some form of acne annually, making it the country’s most common skin condition. The condition occurs most often among adolescents and young adults, though it can strike at any age. While most cases of acne can benefit from treatment, taking certain precautions can help reduce the amount of time you have to live with pimples, blackheads, or whiteheads while waiting for results.
Acne occurs when your pores become clogged with oil or dead skin cells. The condition can also appear as the result of bacteria, hormones, or some medications. In addition to causing cosmetic flaws, acne can trigger feelings of embarrassment, isolation, and low self-confidence that can lead to more serious emotional disorders.
Since every case of acne is unique, you’ll get the best results from acne treatment if you consult with an acne specialist. The dermatologists at Dermatology Associates of Central NJ provide expert acne diagnosis and treatment for patients of all ages who suffer with this chronic condition. After a thorough examination, they determine a diagnosis and the most effective treatment for your acne. Whether treatment involves topical products, prescription medications, chemical peels, or laser procedures, the staff at Dermatology Associates of Central NJ can help you achieve a clearer complexion and the confidence that comes with it.
While our staff is committed to providing state-of-the-art acne solutions, an important part of acne treatment involves self-care. Read on to learn what you can do to prevent acne flare-ups and minimize the amount of time you have to deal with their effects.
Keep your face clean
Keeping your face clean removes bacteria, oil, and dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. Face washing can give you an advantage in acne prevention if you do it right. Follow these tips to get the best results from your face-washing routine:
- Wash no more than twice a day and after sweating
- Always wash off makeup before bedtime
- Use gentle, alcohol-free cleansing products
- Apply a gentle, circular motion when washing
- Avoid astringents and exfoliants that can dry out your skin
- Don’t scrub or wash your face with a harsh washcloth or coarse sponge
And when you’re done washing your face, pat your skin dry with a fresh towel.
Many acne products contain ingredients that dry out your skin as they remove extra oil and bacteria. However, this process can cause dryness and peeling. The effect can trigger a reaction in which your skin over-produces oil to compensate for the lack of natural hydration. You can help keep skin acne-free and balanced by using a non-comedogenic moisturizer, which is less likely to clog pores or cause breakouts.
Use makeup wisely
While makeup doesn’t directly cause acne, it can contribute to clogged pores if you’re not careful. Start smart by choosing oil-free, non-comedogenic products formulated to avoid breakouts. Don’t share makeup applicators. Doing so adds other people’s dead skin cells to your makeup, which can contribute to clogged pores if the cells transfer to your skin when you use the applicator.
Give treatments a chance
It’s difficult to have patience when you’re trying to control unsightly acne. However, most acne treatments need time to work. It can take 6-8 weeks before many acne treatments produce results and 3-4 months for existing blemishes to clear. Jumping from one product to another in short periods of time irritates your skin and makes you more likely to break out.
Avoid squeezing and popping
It’s hard to avoid the urge to squeeze or pop a pimple, but doing so can make things worse. Popping a pimple can push the bacteria deeper into your skin, causing inflammation, redness, and swelling. If the bacteria leak out and onto other pores, you can spread the infection and cause breakouts in the affected areas. Most pimples clear on their own within 3-7 days, while improper popping can make a pimple last for weeks.
Consult a dermatologist
If you’re having acne flare-ups despite self-care, it’s time to consult a dermatologist. Chronic acne can worsen and spread, requiring longer to clear. In some cases, ongoing acne may indicate an underlying disease or adverse reaction to a medication. A consultation with the staff at Dermatologists of Central NJ can lead to an accurate diagnosis and options for stronger treatments than those you can access on your own.
Find out more about acne treatment and the steps you can take to prevent frustrating flare-ups. Schedule an appointment online or call one of our offices in Old Bridge, Union, or Freehold, New Jersey, for a personal consultation.