Let's face it, you are engaged in an ongoing battle when you are afflicted with acne. While acne treatments for a mild case of acne are usually successful, moderate acne is a greater problem. Even dermatologists cannot cure a severe case of acne but can only provide an acne treatment regimen.
However, you can support your acne treatment efforts with proper acne skin care in order to reduce the recurrence of acne flare-ups and not aggravate existing acne.
Knowing What You're Doing
One of the first pieces of advice is to make sure that you understand and follow the directions for any acne remedy that you are using. If you are taking a prescription acne medicine, read the patient leaflet that accompanies the medication carefully. Typically for moderate to severe acne a dermatologist may prescribe several acne medicines, each with its own treatment protocol and directions.
In order to achieve the acne free skin that you desire, it is important to use all the acne treatments properly and in the correct order. Consider bringing a tablet of paper, a pen, and a friend or relative with you to your appointment with your dermatologist. Simply jot down some notes about the order and time of day for applying each acne medicine and what its purpose is.
Remember, just because the acne clears with the use of your acne medicines doesn’t necessarily mean that you have succeeded in curing acne. Most people with moderate to severe acne must continue to use their acne medicine long-term to prevent any recurrence of their acne problem. Using the acne treatments properly should translate to clear skin and freedom from acne scars.
What About Over-the-Counter Remedies?
Besides using medications prescribed by a doctor, there are a large number of products on the market labeled as skin cleansers, facial cleansers, pore cleansers, and facial pore cleaners that can be used in curing acne.
When cleansing skin that is afflicted with acne, an important point to remember is not to scrub the skin; never scrub your face with a washcloth. It is a misconception that acne is caused by dirt clogging the pores of the skin. You don’t scrub away the offending dirt; you can’t scrub away the offensive acne and achieve acne free skin.
Over-washing or scrubbing skin afflicted with acne only serves to aggravate the condition. Rather use only a gentle skin cleanser, lukewarm water, and a gentle motion with your fingertips as your primary acne skin care regime. When you wash your face with your hands, be sure to first thoroughly wash your hands.
Do Natural Treatments Really Work?
Look for gentle cleansers that are sold as acne solutions. When you're evaluating skin cleansers for acne, include natural acne treatments in your search as well. For example, a soap made from Echinacea and other herbal ingredients is an effective antibiotic facial cleanser that helps fight acne and restore clear skin. Tea tree oil also has known antibiotic properties and serves as a mild anesthetic that will soothe the irritated skin.
Oily skin is implicated as a one of the causes of acne. It doesn’t necessarily make sense to use a moisturizer on oily skin as a means of achieving clear skin. But many of the acne treatments, whether they are prescribed or available as over-the-counter products, have a tendency to irritate the skin while curing acne.
A moisturizer is a boost to irritated skin and keeps skin from becoming overly dry due to the acne treatments that have been applied. Look for a moisturizer with the following properties:
- won’t clog pores (non-comodogenic)
- containing a sun-screen
Besides a great desire to just scrub away the acne, many people try to remove the acne pimples by hand as a way to get clear skin. People who are afflicted with acne should avoid touching their face except to gently wash it with mild cleanser as already discussed.
By trying to remove pimples by hand you run the risk of creating acne scars that will last for a lifetime. Instead, have patience and rely on your prescription or over-the-counter acne treatment to work. Acne remedies usually take 6 to 8 weeks before curing acne.
For male acne sufferers, the daily ritual of shaving can be a problem. One acne sufferer has recommended the Gillette Sensor Excel as a gentle and effective razor to use. Other males prefer to try an electric razor. The advice is to shave delicately to avoid nicking the skin and to shave only as often as necessary. Finding a moisturizing shave gel may be one way to enhance your acne skin care program.
Female acne sufferers have their unique problems too, in finding the right cosmetic products to use. Females who are accustomed to using a foundation product may find that the foundation is difficult to apply smoothly if the facial skin becomes irritated due to the acne treatments being applied.
You may have to abandon the use of some cosmetics during the acne treatment period. Be sure to select only oil-free cosmetics and ones that are labeled as non-comodogenic (won’t clog pores) to use on your road to clear skin.
Proper acne skin care is a necessary addition to your arsenal for fighting your battle with acne and achieving clear skin once again.