Well, it’s the 21st century and acne is still a very real challenge. Just what is this bane of teenage existence? It’s a skin condition that causes redness and pimples. It makes us unhappy, undermines our confidence, itches and hurts. We aggravate the situation by popping whiteheads and making them bleed. Then we gob on the concealer, foundation, blush and powder and hope no one notices the camouflaged lumps all over our face.
Contributors to Acne
Hormones, perspiration, skin type, clogged pores, stress, climate. diet and age may all be factors in the eruptions of acne on the face, neck, shoulders and chest. Acne usually peaks in our teen years, but can reappear in adulthood, too, like a condition called Rosacea, that’s aggravated by exposure to heat and cold. Acne can also be genetic. Some people, like my husband, sail through their teen years without a single pimple! Others, like me, have occasional breakouts throughout our adult lives.
A Healthy Regimen
Start the day with an oil control face wash. A little bit goes a long way. Wet your face gently with warm, not hot, water. Warm water will open your pores. Make a lather on your fingertips and gently massage forehead, cheeks, chin, nose. Splash- rinse gently with cool water, to close the pores. Pat dry with a clean towel. Use non-comedogenic make-up and sunscreen. These won’t clog your pores. If you have any dry skin, use an oil-free moisturizer, as well. Try to keep your hands and hair away from your face, and wash your face again at bedtime.
Evaluate and Treat Your Acne
There are a variety of acne products available over the counter. Should you try one? First, evaluate the extent of the problem. Mild acne may respond to an ointment containing benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, alpha hydroxy or a retinoid. These products can be tricky, because your skin usually gets worse before it gets better. It may get redder, and peel, and break out even more. Read the packages and speak to your pharmacist before choosing one to try. Understand what to expect, then try a small amount to see how well you tolerate it.
If you aren’t making headway with your face-washing regimen and over the counter products, make an appointment with a reputable dermatologist. Your doctor may use light therapy, antibiotics and topical treatments including make-up. Left untreated, acne can scar, so take it seriously. You don’t have to wait to outgrow it. Be proactive and face the world with your dazzling smile!