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Tiny hair follicles all over skin surfaces can quickly become clogged with oil, sweat, and dead skin cells. When that happens, acne develops in the form of blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, and nodules. Blackheads and whiteheads are typically small, often are not even noticeable. But when these lesions enlarge, the resulting red, pus-filled pimples can be troubling.
In many cases, acne can be well controlled with a simple skincare routine each morning and night. The method does not have to take a lot of time or include expensive products. Remember acne doesn’t develop overnight and will not disappear that quickly either. But with consistent use of these 5 steps, breakouts can be reduced.
Just because acne is present that does not mean good hygiene is not. However, more than just a quick wash is necessary to tackle acne. Using a gentle cleanser made to remove excess oil, wash affected areas. Do not scrub harshly or that could over-dry or irritate the skin. If makeup is worn or skin is exposed to excessive dirt or sweat, do a double wash at night.
Use a toner or astringent after washing. A toner helps to calm the skin while replenishing moisture and nutrients. Finding a toner that is the correct balance between refreshing and not overly-drying is essential. Products with high alcohol content can cause excessive dryness and irritation.
Apply medication for acne treatment as prescribed by a dermatologist or use an over-the-counter product. Topical treatments work in different ways, so if unsure what product to use, check with a physician. Acne medication should only be applied to the most severely affected spots to avoid over-drying other areas. Also, allow the medicine to air dry before continuing to the next step.
Always apply an oil-free moisturizer. Many people are afraid applying moisturizer will increase breakouts. Lotions or even gel moisturizers will absorb fully and will not leave the skin feeling greasy. This step is essential because the other products used can cause dryness, peeling, or irritation of the skin.
Applying an SPF is a must each morning. Many acne treatments make the skin more susceptible to sun damage so protection must be applied. Often oil-free moisturizers contain SPF so a separate product may not be necessary.
Teenagers are often the most prone to acne due to hormonal effects. With the onset of puberty, pre-teens and teenagers feel the effects of hormonal changes with persistent breakouts. However, adults of any age can also be affected.
Teenagers are often told to avoid greasy food, pizza, and junk food to prevent breakouts. While avoiding those foods may be a healthier choice, changing the diet will not necessarily prevent acne. Some studies indicate eating chocolate, dairy products, and high carbohydrates may exacerbate acne but these results are not definitive. Stress also does not cause acne, although worrying about acne may cause people to pick at blemishes.
A small breakout happens to most people occasionally, but no one must live with acne every day. Seeking help from a professional is sometimes needed. Several medical treatments can be prescribed for severe acne cases. Whether looking for product recommendations or needing additional help with acne treatment, call a dermatologist.