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Living With Acne

Thursday, March 15, 2012 - 21:04

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

While undergoing treatment for acne, it is important to take precautions in caring for the affected skin.

  • If you are a man who shaves, you should try to avoid nicking your pimples by softening your beard before shaving with soap and warm water. You may also want to try a safety razor and electric razor to decide which is most comfortable. A sharp blade and as little shaving as possible is also recommended.
  • If you are a woman who wears makeup, clean the face carefully every night - with mild soap and water-to remove all traces of makeup. Be especially aware of the appearance or flare-up of acne after using a particular cosmetic, as some cosmetics have been known to aggravate acne. Wash the skin gently with a mild cleanser (ask your doctor to recommend one) in the morning and evening and after exercise. Rinse the skin thoroughly after washing.
  • Shampoo the hair daily, especially if you have oily hair.
  • Using moist warm compresses on the skin may help open blocked pores.
  • Some astringents work well on the pimples for reducing inflammation. They may be recommended for very oily skin, to be placed directly on the oily areas only.
  • In some women taking birth control pills, acne may sometimes gets worse. Tell the physician prescribing the contraceptive about this so that another type of birth control pill can be suggested. Sometimes, however, oral contraceptives can improve the acne condition.
Need To Know:

Popping pimples makes things worse. Avoid picking or squeezing a pimple. Although it might be tempting to do this, it can make things worse by leaving a scar or causing more inflammation.

Sunlight is known to help, but has limits. You may notice that sunlight seems to help reduce acne. This might be true because the UV light in the sun's rays may reduce the P. acnes bacteria and their by-products that cause the inflammation. But sunlight can also increase the number of whiteheads in some people. Also, overexposure to the sun may increase your risk of skin cancer.

Excessive washing isn't the answer. Acne cannot be removed by repeatedly washing the skin. Although it is good hygiene to keep the face clean, excessive washing can dry your skin.

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