16 Nov Bad Acne Habits to Stop
There are a lot of factors that go into exacerbating acne and there’s a good chance you’re mistakenly doing a few of them. Spectrum Dermatology is committed to helping you treat all forms of acne so that you can get the clear, healthy skin you deserve. Seeing a dermatologist for a personalized treatment plan is the best way to treat your acne, but how you treat your skin when you’re not in our office also plays a big role. There are some common mistakes and bad habits people make with their acne, usually based on outdated or poor information.
The first bad habit to break is trying to self-treat acne and changing up your approach every week. This actually irritates the skin, which is a leading cause of breakouts. The truth is that most over the counter products aren’t going to help much, and they definitely don’t help with more severe forms of acne. They can be helpful with mild acne, such as whiteheads and blackheads—but not if you don’t give them time to work.
Even something as seemingly harmless as washing your face multiple times per day can worsen acne and cause breakouts. Instead, wash your face once or twice per day and give your dermatologist-approved treatment the time it needs to work. This typically means 6 – 8 weeks. If there’s no improvement after two months, your dermatologist can recommend or prescribe a new option. Complete clearing of acne takes 3 – 4 months on average.
Avoid the Spot Treatment
A lot of people only apply treatment to their actual blemishes, either because they want to save as much of the product as possible or because that’s what’s shown on commercials. This does nothing to prevent new blemishes, so make sure you apply the product evenly to your entire acne-prone area. Others sabotage themselves by using skin care products like sunscreen or makeup that are actually causing acne breakouts. Avoid any products with oil in them and seek out products that are non-comedogenic. Even better, only use products and brands recommended by your dermatologist.
Breakouts can also be caused by sharing makeup or makeup applicators. Although acne is not contagious, it can spread from either bacterial, oil, or dead skin cell excess—all of which can get trapped in makeup or on applicators. Avoid sharing makeup, and make sure that if you are getting professional makeup applied that the person is only using cleaned tools.
Best Practices to Avoid Breakouts
Sleeping in your makeup is a big mistake. Although you’ve heard it many times, sleeping in makeup really will worsen your skin because it can lead to breakouts. This is true even if you only use oil-free makeup. Always remove your makeup before bed, even if it’s just with a towelette (as long as you make sure the towelette is also oil-free).
However, as previously mentioned, you don’t want to wash your face too often. That’s because this can dry out your skin. This might sound appealing since oily skin can lead to breakouts, but dry skin is really just irritated skin. When skin is irritated, it is more likely to develop acne. Apply moisturizer twice per day, morning and night, If you consider that you have oily skin, then speak to your dermatologist about ways to maintain your skin moisturized. Your dermatologist can recommend the best moisturizer for you. You also want to avoid using items like rubbing alcohol or astringents that tend to dry out skin.
Avoid scrubbing your skin to clear it of acne. This is another form of irritantation. Instead, be gentle and use a cleanser that is mild and considered non-comedogenic. Use soft circular motions and rinse with warm water. Use only need your fingertips to wash your face, and then pat dry with a towel. You also want to avoid scrubbing away sweat, even though it’s tempting to do so after a workout. Rubbing sweat around your face will definitely irritate your skin and possibly lead to breakouts.
Finally, no matter how tempting it is, avoid popping your breakouts. This causes whatever is inside, from dead skin cells to bacteria, to go deeper and spread around the face. This increases inflammation, how noticeable the acne is, and can lead to pain and scarring. Medication and in-office treatments are the only ways to treat acne.
You are capable of getting clearer, healthier skin if a dermatologist is working with you. No matter the severity of your acne, help is available. Call Spectrum Dermatology at 480-948-8400.