Almost everyone at some point in their lives will suffer from acne outbreaks. While it can be embarrassing or frustrating, there are many easy ways acne prevention can help reduce the occurrence of breakouts. We tend to think that only teenagers should be plagued with pimples, but unfortunately, acne can be present our whole lives.
Ways to help reduce acne outbreaks:
- I would encourage a well-balanced diet and plenty of water to keep the skin nice and hydrated. Although some people will find they break out after eating certain foods, there is no evidence that fatty or greasy or sugary foods lead to more breakouts.
- Make sure to wash your face with hands and not a washcloth as these may be abrasive to sensitive skin. Some acne washes contain Benzoyl Peroxide or Salicyclic acid, both of which can be very harsh to the skin. They may lead to peeling and redness, along with increased sensitivity to the sun.
- If you try an OTC acne cream, be sure to test it on one spot first before applying to you whole face to minimize adverse reactions.
- Keep your hands off your face to reduce spreading grease and other irritants onto your face. Temptation to squeeze pimples can be hard to resist, but it can actually lead to tissue damage, infection, and scarring. Try not to pick!
- Makeup can irritate and clog pores as well. Make sure to always wash off your makeup at the end of the day. Products that are water-based or more natural tend to be easier on the skin, as well.
Products I love and have found to be effective in helping clear my own skin include:
- Cetaphil face wash. This is an incredible, gentle skin cleanser. It is available at almost all drug and grocery stores and is relatively inexpensive.
- Cetaphil moisturizer. Again, this brand is really gentle on the skin. There is a moisturizer with, and without, sunscreen. It goes on smooth and does not feel like you are wearing a thick layer of moisturizer. Sunscreen is always a good idea to help prevent skin damage.
- Neutrogena products. There are many Neutrogena products, but the ones I think are the best include the Oil Free Acne Wash for the face and Clear Body Wash, for back and chest acne. These products tend to be less drying to the skin than some of the other available washes.
- Neutrogena moisturizer. There are several moisturizers with sunscreen in them that go on smooth and do not leave an oily residue. There are also overnight moisturizers to help fight off any dry skin.
Finally, if the OTC and home remedies are not working, you should come see us to discuss topical therapies or other medications to help reduce acne flares!
Sarada Schossow, PA-C is a primary care provider at Family Care, PA in Durham, NC. She has special interests in women’s health, adolescent and young adult health, and dermatology, including acne prevention. For more articles from Sarada, click here.