Acne leads to a lot of emotional upheaval. Whether you can call them zits, pimples, whiteheads, blackheads, pustules or cysts, acne is hardly a laughing matter to the millions of people who suffer from it. Acne is almost considered as a normal part of growing up. While it affects majority of teenagers, it can also appear later in life. 85% or adolescents develop acne. Among adults, 12% women and 3% men have acne. No doubt, you have to get yourself treated by a dermatologist but medications and ointments alone won't do the trick. Along with the treatment, you should also follow these skin care tips and do's and don'ts to keep acne under control.
* Wash your face only 2 times a day with a gentle cleanser or soap. If your face turns greasy, use blotting papers or cleansing wipes to remove it. Don't succumb to the temptation of washing your face several times in a day. This will dry your skin at first but later on it will overstimulate your sebaceous glands to produce more oil in turn worsening your acne. Use water at room temperature or slightly lukewarm water for washing your face. Don't ever use hot water for your face. Read what devastating effect this had on a certain girl's skin.
* Change your towel everyday. Bacteria can grow on damp cloth. Also change your pillow covers and bedspreads everyday or at least once in two days.
* Wash your hands often with soap and water. While this habit helps to keep cold and flu germs at bay, it also doesn't deposit bacteria and grime on your skin when you inadvertently touch your face. By the way, It's not a good idea to touch your face. Also don't rest your face on your hands when you read, study, or watch TV.
* Shampoo your hair at least twice a week. Thoroughly cleanse your hair of impurities and residual hair products and don't leave any trace of shampoo or conditioner on your scalp and hair. Pull your hair away from your face when you sleep. Style it away from your face during the day.
* Don't squeeze, pick, scratch, or rub your pimples. You may get more blemishes and scars.
* Avoid over-enthusiastic scrubbing of your face or the usage of abrasive scrubs or soaps. Hard scrubbing of the skin irritates the opening of sebaceous glands.
* Avoid hair gels, creams (especially the greasy ones). When you sweat, these will spread to your face and aggravate your acne.
* When choosing make-up go for non-comedogenic, oil-free cosmetics.
* Wash as soon as you can before and after exercise. Contrary to popular belief, washing face before exercise is more important than washing face after exercise.
* If certain foods seem to make your acne worse, do not eat those foods. While there is no adequate evidence that chocolates and greasy foods can aggravate your acne, it's good if you particularly minimize the intake of foods with high glycemic index.
* Try not to work in hot kitchens where greasy foods are cooked.
* Don't get carried away by the myth that sunlight can help with acne. In fact, exposure to the sun can exacerbate your acne. Specially take care not to get sunburnt. Of course you should use sunscreen, but then choosing the right sunscreen for your skin type is a bit tricky. Read reviews of sunscreens/sunblocks and try a few of them before you settle for the one that doesn't seem to break you out.
* Try not to become stressed. This is easier said than done. Try meditation, deep breathing and exercises. Have a great social life; mingle with people and talk to your best friend. Cultivate a hobby and find some me-time to pamper yourself. All these will help in bringing your stress levels down. Also read Tips to beat Stress & Cultivate better mental health. However if the situation is beyond your control, talk to a counsellor or a psychotherapist.
* Talk to your dermatologist. Keep a record of the medicines you have tried. Write down how they have worked. Don't give up. Don't stop your acne medicine too soon. It takes about 8 weeks to see a good response. Keep working with your doctor until you find a way to keep skin clear.
Image Credits: David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
(Guest Post by Smitha)
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