General skin care tips
Avoid popping pimples
A pimple indicates trapped oil, sebum, and bacteria. It is also a sign that the body’s natural healing mechanism is working.
Popping the pimple disrupts this healing process. Additionally, the released liquids expose the surrounding skin to similar bacteria, increasing the risk of additional pimples forming.
The exposed pimple may also lead to permanent scarring. Whenever possible, avoid popping pimples. If they drain, keep the area clean.
Wash twice daily, and again after sweating
The American Academy of Dermatology recommend that people wash twice daily and then again after sweating. Leaving sweat on the skin and allowing it to dry can make acne worse, so it is best to wash the skin as soon as possible after sweating.
Avoid touching the face
Touching the face with the hands can deposit dirt, oils, and bacteria onto the skin and lead to breakouts.
All skin types can benefit from moisturizing after a daily face wash. Keeping the face moisturized may help control sebum production and prevent damage from the outside elements.
The most effective moisturizer will vary in each case, depending on the person’s skin type. Anyone uncertain of what moisturizers will work for them should contact a dermatologist.
Always wear sunscreen
The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays damage the skin. Wearing sunscreen whenever outdoors can help protect the skin from these harmful rays.
Focus on gentle products
People who need extra care for their skin will generally find that they react better to gentle products, which are less likely to irritate the skin. Products that commonly irritate sensitive skin include:
* alcohol-based products
Gentle, hypoallergenic versions of these products do exist. However, it is still important to test a small area of skin for reactions before applying any product to a more extensive area.
Avoid hot water
Showering, bathing, or washing the hands and face with very hot water can dry out or damage the skin. People who notice dry skin after bathing can try using lukewarm water instead.
Use gentle cleansing devices
Exfoliation is important to help wash away dead skin cells, but some devices can be too abrasive and may actually harm the skin. Tools such as washcloths, rough sponges, or loofahs may be too rough for the skin, causing damage and irritation.
Some delicate options exist, such as soft cleansing brushes. Alternatively, using clean fingers to massage a cleanser into the face may help prevent extra irritation.
Use topical medications
Topical medications may help people of all skin types control acne. Several different medicated products are available, including:
* benzoyl peroxide, with or without other ingredients, such as antibiotics
* salicylic acid
* topical retinoids, such as tretinoin
* dapsone, which is a combination anti-inflammatory and antibiotic
* azelaic acid to unclog pores