for Getting the Most Out of Your Acne Treatment
Good skin care plays an important role in treating acne.
Following these skin care guidelines—unless your dermatologist
instructs otherwise—can help improve treatment results:
Do NOT pop, squeeze or pick at
This can make acne worse by spreading inflammation. With medical
treatment, removing lesions is rarely necessary; however, when
removal is needed, it should be performed by an experienced
Gently wash your face twice a day
with a mild cleanser and pat dry.
Acne is not caused by poor hygiene, and vigorous washing and
scrubbing will not clear your skin. In fact, all that scrubbing
can irritate your skin and make acne worse. The way to clear acne
is with appropriate acne products and good skin care.
Use “noncomedogenic” (does not
clog pores) cosmetics and toiletries.
When buying cosmetics and other products that you will use on your
skin or hair, be sure to look for ones labeled “noncomedogenic.”
Makeup, sunscreen and toiletries that are not likely to cause acne
state that they are “noncomedogenic” on the product.
Avoid aggravating your acne.
Oily hair, sporting equipment that rubs against your skin and
airborne grease—all can irritate and make your acne worse. Ways
you can avoid these situations include:
If you have oily hair, keep it off
your face and wash it daily.
Avoid using hair care products that
contain oil, such as pomades and gels.
Wear cotton clothing or moleskin
under sporting equipment to avoid skin-to-equipment contact.
Give acne products enough time to
do their job.
Ask a dermatologist (or pharmacist) how much time is needed for
each particular product to work. This way you’ll know when you can
expect to see clearing and not stop using the product(s) before
you see results. As a rule of thumb, it takes 6 to 8 weeks before
you begin to see an improvement.
Use medications as directed.
Using more medication than directed will not improve results. In
fact, it can make acne worse by aggravating the skin. Be sure to
read all labels and use accordingly or as instructed by a
Avoid excess exposure to sunlight,
and do not use tanning booths or sun lamps.
Contrary to popular belief, tanning does not clear acne; it simply
masks acne. Tanning also increases one’s risk of developing
melanoma and other skin cancers. Additionally, some acne
treatments can increase the skin's sensitivity to sunlight and
ultraviolet light from tanning booths and sun lamps. If you have
acne, it is important to protect your skin by following
sun-protection practices, such as wearing sunscreen and avoiding
If after following these guidelines,
you are not satisfied with the results from your acne treatment, be
sure to see a dermatologist. Today, almost every case of acne can be
cleared, especially with a dermatologist's help.
content solely developed by the American Academy of Dermatology
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