Top Ten Dos and Don'ts of Living with Acne
Sadly, a significant percentage of us have to live with acne at some stage in our lives.
Statistics show that between the age of 11 right up to 30, 80% of people will be dealing with this issue. This will be a short-lived issue for some people, but others have to put up with severe acne for years. Having acne on a more severe basis is problematic; it can be excruciating and cause swelling of the face. Thankfully there are treatments out there that can help, but it might take some time to find the best for you. You need to guard against doing anything that makes it worse, so here is a list of the top ten dos and don'ts for living with acne and keeping it under control as best as possible.
1. Do Be Kind to Yourself
As mental health is increasingly under the spotlight, we're going to start with this important message. Having severe acne can be incredibly bad for your self-confidence but try to be kind to yourself. As we've already mentioned, you are not alone, and if anyone has anything negative to say, ignore them. Of course, this can be easier said than done, but if you follow all of our tips, hopefully, you can bring your acne under control and even send it packing forever.
2. Do Cleanse Gently
It is imperative that you clean your face twice a day with warm water and either some mild soap or a cleanser specifically designed for problematic skin. You need to be gentle, not scrubbing at your skin, and also for the blokes out there, be careful when shaving and ladies never go to bed in your makeup. You should also be washing your face if you have been sweating, as this is when oil emerges from the skin and potentially makes the problem worse.
3. Do Use Sun Protection
Although most of us love sunshine, it can act as an irritant if you have skin prone to acne. If you are taking medication for your acne, you may also have been warned that this makes your skin even more susceptible to getting burnt. Sadly, this means that you need to stay out of direct sunlight, but you could use a wide-brimmed hat to keep the sign off your face and neck. It's essential to use sunscreen, but again putting cream on acne riddled skin could make the problem worse, so do check with your GP about which sunscreens are less irritating. And finally, where a light breathable fabric over your chest and back as these are problem acne areas.
4. Do Use Soothing Techniques
Heat and cold are two ways to dramatically reduce the swelling caused by acne and take out some pain. If you apply a warm flannel to any new whitehead spots and leave it there for about 15 minutes, it will help release the nasties. Be careful it's not too hot, but you can do this several times a day. Alternatively, ice wrapped in a flannel and held against any new breakouts can help bring down the swelling. You can do this three times for 10 minutes, taking a break for at least 10 minutes between each application.
5. Do Try Over The Counter Help
Many over the counter medications can help with problematic acne. Look for products that contain sofa, salicylic acid, resorcinol and benzoyl peroxide. Always apply once you have washed your face and follow the directions. These can take a few weeks to start working. Make sure you know any potential side effects and discontinue use if they make it worse. Be sure to consult your doctor if anything creates a potentially dangerous side effect.
6. Do Seek Professional Advice
If none of this seems to be working, it may be time to consult a dermatologist. Sometimes, a severe acne breakout requires a little more intervention, perhaps in antibiotics, steroid injections, and various other medications and procedures. In the first instance, you may have to see your GP, but if they consider your acne is significant, they will refer you to a dermatologist.
7. Don't Overdo Things
While it can be tempting to cleanse your face more than twice a day, you should take care that you are not washing or scrubbing as this can make things worse. Also, do not squeeze spots; it is tempting, and everybody's done it occasionally, but actually, it can make things worse and cause infections and leave scars.
8. Don't Accidentally Irritate
You need to be careful with any area that suffers from acne; for example, if your bag strap is resting across your shoulders and chest where you suffer from acne, you can accidentally irritate it. The same can apply to mobile phone use, earbuds, helmets, and anything else that may come into contact with these problem areas. Unfortunately, the need to wear masks has created acne issues, and all you can do here is take breaks when it is safe to do so and cleanse your face when you get home for the day.
9. Don't Use Certain Products
While it may seem obvious, we have seen many people try and rectify acne and make it worse by using certain products. Whatever you do, never use alcohol, exfoliants, toners, abrasives, astringents, or any fragrances on acne-prone skin. In addition, it would be best if you stay away from cosmetic face masks, facial scrubs, and tanning products.
10. Don't Expect Miracles
Finally, although it's frustrating, try not to fall for so-called miracle products. It will take time to get acne under control, and there are plenty of genuinely helpful things out there. But if you see something offering a miracle way to banish your acne in just a few hours, it's likely to be a fake claim. Sometimes we can fall into the trap of using so many products they interact with each other and make things worse. Try one thing at a time and be patient as nothing will be instant. And remember, if things aren't improving, it's time to seek professional help rather than struggling alone feeling hopeless.