What is acne-prone skin?
Caring for acne-prone skin is about more than just slathering on blemish-busting products. It can also include lifestyle changes – the first of which is often a new and improved skincare routine.
It depends on the type of acne
The simplest way to divide acne is into inflammatory and non-inflammatory types.
Non-inflammatory acne refers to clogged pores that appear as blackheads or whiteheads. It is the softest and easiest type to detect. Blackheads have a dark appearance and may appear somewhat flat against the skin. Whiteheads are small, skin-colored bumps.
Anything that appears red or more robust is essentially classified as inflammatory acne. This can range from papules and pustules to more serious nodules and cysts. Papules are small red bumps, while pustules are small bumps that contain pus. Papules often turn into pustules. Then there is the deeper and more painful acne.
These inflamed bumps are usually larger than your usual pimple and feel like they’re under the skin.
10 things you can try when acne won’t clear
Give an acne treatment at least 4 weeks to make it work
Using a new acne product every few days may seem helpful, but that approach can make acne worse. Acne treatment takes time to work. Using a different product every few days can also irritate your skin and cause new breakouts.
If a treatment works for you, you should see some improvement in 4 to 6 weeks. It may take two to three months or more to see cleanliness. If you notice improvement, keep using the treatment. Even when you see it clear up, you’ll want to keep using your acne treatment. This helps prevent new outbreaks.
Attack the different causes of acne
If you don’t see improvement after 4-6 weeks, add a second acne product to your treatment plan.
This method can help attack the different causes of acne.
Bacteria, clogged pores, oil, and inflammation can cause acne.
Of course, the second treatment must attack a different cause of acne. For instance, if you are using an acne treatment that contains benzoyl peroxide, the additional acne treatment should contain another acne-fighting ingredient. To help you select another product, this is where the different active ingredients work:
- Benzoyl peroxide decreases P. acnes bacteria
- Retinoids, like adapalene gel, unclog pores and reduce oil
- Salicylic acid relieves inflammation and unclogs pores
Follow the instructions
While using an acne treatment may seem pretty straightforward, how much you use and how often you use it can make a big difference. Be sure to follow the instructions. If a dermatologist created your treatment plan, follow your doctor’s instructions, and use everything that your dermatologist included in the treatment plan.
Wash your face double a day and after sweating
Acne-prone skin is sensitive. Washing more than twice a day can irritate the skin and make acne worse.
For best results, dermatologists endorse washing your face when:
- They are ready to go to bed
- Have a sweaty face
Stop rubbing your face and other acne-prone skin
If your skin feels greasy, dirty, or grimy, you may be tempted to rub it clean. Do not do it! Rubbing can irritate acne-prone skin, making acne worse.
Use skincare products and cosmetics that do not cause acne
These products are labelled. On the package, you can see one of the following:
- Doesn’t clog pores
Because some of these skincare products can still cause acne in some people, you may need to try different products before finding others that don’t breakouts.
Resist touching, pinching, and popping your acne
Popping a pimple may seem like the fastest way to get rid of it, but doing so can make things worse. Every time you touch, pinch, or pop, you can make acne worse.
Spread acne medications all over acne-prone skin, not just blemishes
Applying a thin layer to acne-prone skin helps treat existing acne and prevent new breakouts.
Wash your pillowslips, hats, and other things that touch your acne-prone skin
Dead skin cells, bacteria, and dirt will accumulate on these surfaces, which can clog pores. Washing off your acne-prone skin can prevent this.
Changing the sheets every week and the pillowcase two or three times a week can make a difference.
Get the help of a dermatologist
If you still have acne after trying these tips, or if you have acne cysts or nodules – deep blemishes that leave scars when they go away – a dermatologist can help.
What can I do to help reduce blemishes and take care of my skin?
Complete skincare routine
Cleanse your skin twice a day and take care of it with products that have been specially formulated to suit your skin’s unique needs, such as those in the Eucerin Dermo Pure range. Learn more about the ideal skincare routine and products for blemish-prone skin.
Use only concealers and makeup products that have been particularly formulated for acne-prone skin, such as Eucerin Dermo Pure Cover Stick.
There is an assortment of options available for acne. Your doctor will be able to advise you which one is best for you. Learn more about acne medications and possible side effects.
Blemishes can cause pigmentation problems if you’re exposed to too much sun, and acne medications can make your skin more sensitive to UV rays, so it’s important to use the right sun protection. Try Eucerin Sun Gel-Creme Oil Switch Dry Touch SPF30 or SPF50 +. Read more on acne and sun protection.
What are the treatments for acne-prone skin?
The occasional pimple can be hidden. If used, over-the-counter covering creams and cosmetics must be water-based. Even if acne breakouts cannot be eliminated, conventional treatment can provide relief.
The best treatments constrain sebum production, limit bacterial growth, encourage shedding of skin cells to unblock pores or a newer treatment that blocks male hormones in the skin. Because many therapies can have side effects, any acne patient should proceed with caution when trying a new treatment. Persons with any type of acne that lowers their self-esteem or makes them unhappy, those with acne that is sendoff scars or people with severe and persistent cases of acne need the care of a dermatologist.
Over-the-counter acne treatment
- Soap and water: Gentle cleansing of the face with soap and water no more than twice a day can help with acne. Though, this does not clear up acne that is already present. Aggressive scrubbing can damage the skin and cause other skin problems.
- Cleaners: Many cleansers and soaps are advertised to treat acne. They often cover benzoyl peroxide, glycolic acid, salicylic acid, or sulfur.
- Benzoyl peroxide: For mild acne, you may try, or your doctor may recommend, treatment with an over-the-counter medicine that contains benzoyl peroxide. This compound is believed to work by killing bacteria associated with acne. It usually takes at least four weeks to work and should be used continuously to keep acne at bay. Like many over-the-counter and prescription products, it doesn’t affect sebum production or the way follicle cells are shed from your skin, and when you stop using it, acne returns. It is available in many forms: creams, lotions, washes, foams, cleansing pads, and gels. Benzoyl peroxide can dry out skin and bleach fabrics, so use caution when applying it. Consider wearing an old t-shirt to bed if you are smearing it to your back or chest overnight.
- Salicylic acid: In the skin, salicylic acid helps correct the abnormal shedding of cells. For milder acne, salicylic acid helps unclog pores to resolve and prevent injury. It does not affect sebum production and it does not kill bacteria. It must be used unceasingly, just like benzoyl peroxide, because its effects stop when you stop using it – pores clog again, and the acne returns. Salicylic acid is available in many acne products, counting lotions, creams, and pads.