In honor of Acne Awareness Month this June, Dr. Rachel Nazarian from Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City is sharing the top ways she sees patients mistreat their acne:
You’re playing mean: The reality is being nice gets you far… even with your skin. Acne can be an inflammatory condition and using harsh products will only irritate the skin further, WORSENING your acne. Remember, your skin is a sensitive organ and using gentle cleansers, rather than harsh and abrasive scrubs, can prevent flaring your acne. Let your medicine do the hard-work, and take it easy with the roughing around.
You’re one-sided: Not all acne is created equal. Neither is acne medication. We now know that acne comes in all types and styles: blackheads, whiteheads, cysts and nodules. Rather than using one ingredient that may only address one type of acne lesion, speak to your dermatologist about a multi-angled approach. Using a combination treatment plan can help resolve your breakouts in a smarter, and faster way.
You’re being too creative: Back away from the kitchen! It’s time you stopped looking at Pinterest to create random DIY acne treatments. The hard work has been done and super-smart scientists have already developed incredibly effective acne medications. Ask your dermatologist for a prescription of something guaranteed to help and spare your skin the potential side-effects of using too-harsh ingredients from the kitchen pantry.
Playing doctor: It’s so tempting to pop that pimple. You have the tools, all “sterilized” and ready and it feels so good when you’ve successfully managed to clean out that pore. The reality? You’re often doing more harm than good. Pressing and popping acne only increased your chance of scarring, and usually leaves marks that stain the skin for weeks. Swinging by your dermatologist’s office for a quick cortisone injection, or even a little acne cleaning is a much smarter and safer way to treat your skin. And most insurances will even cover the cost!
You’re fueling the fire: As soon as you get a pimple, you grab makeup to cover it up. If your makeup is oil-based, it could actually be CAUSING new breakouts. Every product that’s placed on your skin should be labeled as “oil-free” and “non-comedogenic.” After all your efforts to keep your skin looking its best, it would be shame to let your makeup sabotage you.
You’re neglecting it: I have many patients admit they suffered with acne for years before coming into my office for treatment. Downplaying your pimples is one of the saddest ways to approach your acne. Whether you have mild acne, or a severe case, if it’s something that bothers you, or is affecting your self-esteem, go see a professional.
You’re being impatient: Acne medications work, but not overnight. Remember that it may take several weeks of using medication daily before your skin can recalibrate. You’ll see results, but it requires a commitment and dedication to a daily skin-care regimen. Skipping parts of the treatment plan will delay results and can lead to intermittent breakouts. Try to stay focused and think of how great you feel when your skin is looking its best. Spending a few minutes a day applying or taking your acne medication will be worth it!