How Should People With Acne Care for Their Skin

Clean Skin Gently
People with acne may try to stop outbreaks and oil production by scrubbing their skin and using strong detergent soaps. However, scrubbing will not improve acne; in fact, it can make the problem worse. Most doctors recommend that people with acne gently wash their skin with a mild cleanser, once in the morning and once in the evening. Patients should ask their doctor or another health professional for advice on the best type of cleanser to use. The skin should also be washed after heavy exercise. Patients should wash their face from under the jaw to the hairline; rough scrubs or pads should not be used. It is important that patients thoroughly rinse their skin after washing it. Astringents are not recommended unless the skin is very oily, and then they should be used only on oily spots. Doctors also recommend that patients regularly shampoo their hair. Those with oily hair may want to shampoo it every day.

Avoid Frequent Handling of the Skin
People who squeeze, pinch, or pick their blemishes risk developing scars. Acne lesions can form in areas where pressure is frequently applied to the skin. Frequent rubbing and touching of skin lesions should be avoided.

Shave Carefully
Men who shave and who have acne can try electric and safety razors to see which is more comfortable. Men who use a safety razor should use a sharp blade and soften their beard thoroughly with soap and water before applying shaving cream. Nicking blemishes can be avoided by shaving lightly and only when necessary.

Avoid Suntanning
A suntan or sunburn that reddens the skin can make blemishes less visible and make the skin feel drier for a little while. But the benefits are only temporary. The sun can seriously damage skin, promote aging of skin, and cause skin cancer. Furthermore, many of the medications used to treat acne make a person more prone to sunburn.

Choose Cosmetics Carefully
People being treated for acne often need to change some of the cosmetics they use. All cosmetics, such as foundation, blush, eye shadow, and moisturizers, should be oil free. Patients may find it difficult to apply foundation evenly during the first few weeks of treatment because skin may be red or scaly, particularly with the use of topical tretinoin or benzoyl peroxide. Lip products that contain moisturizers may cause small, open and closed comedones to form. Hairstyling products that come in contact with the skin along the hairline can cause burning or stinging in people with acne. Products that are labeled as noncomedogenic (do not promote the formation of blemishes) should be used; in some people, however, even these products may cause acne.



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