Anyone with frequent acne may feel like achieving clear skin is a losing battle. What most people don’t realize is that their well-intended efforts may contribute to breakouts or make matters worse. Do these scenarios sound familiar?
1. Stopping treatments too soon. Acne takes time to heal—several weeks, in fact. Avoid switching products when you don’t see immediate results. Once your skin has improved, continue treatment to prevent flare-ups.
2. Over-cleansing and under-hydrating. A common misconception is that acne is caused by oily skin, so you must strip your skin of all oil. Actually, many factors account for breakouts. While excessive oil can contribute to acne, skin needs a healthy balance of oil and water to function properly and heal itself. Thus, harsh cleansers and scrubs can exacerbate acne. Stripping oil can worsen pore impaction, impair healing and increase scar risks.
3. Picking and popping. It is best to leave extractions to professionals. Not every clogged pore should be extracted. Trying to extract it yourself can cause irritation and spread bacteria. When the first attempt fails, patients often pick at the lesion and reopen it, making it worse. The best option is to consult a doctor or aesthetician about how to safely manage breakouts.
4. Inconsistent or improper product use. Acne must be treated consistently to see results. It is key to use products as recommended. For example, a product meant for daily use all over your skin may not prevent breakouts if applied only as a spot treatment.
5. Waiting to seek help. Treat acne early. Severely congested skin takes more time to correct and heal; plus, damage may already be done at this point. Large, inflamed breakouts can leave scars, but so can small, pebble-like acne. Treat acne proactively to minimize breakouts.
Because acne has many types and causes, visit a doctor or aesthetician if you don’t see satisfactory results on your own. A good home-care regimen is essential for healing and preventing acne. Facials, chemical peels, lasers or microdermabrasion may speed improvement. Best results come from a careful mix of products and treatments for your specific condition.
Our experienced aestheticians are trained to identify forms of acne and tailor treatment plans. We offer free 30-minute consultations to help you get started. Please call either of our offices: (864) 454-4570 (200 Patewood Drive, Ste. B480) or (864) 233-8088 (920 Woodruff Road).
Melissa Owens, LMA, CAC, is a medical aesthetician with Carolina Plastic Surgery & Aesthetics.