Teens and young adults seldom want to take the time to see a skin doctor about acne unless it’s disrupting their life. For minimal acne, many over the counter products can keep the occasional pimple at bay.
But for the many who see acne on a regular basis, the tendency is to “over-treat”, thinking more is better.
Here are the top 6 mistakes people make when self treating acne
- Over – washing. A couple of times a day is normal and as long as you use warm (not hot) water, you’re maintaining a healthy skin barrier.
- Using too-strong medications. The high % benzoyl peroxides can easily irritate what is already sensitive skin. Stay on the low end. If you think you need 10%, then it’s time to see a dermatologist.
- Using the wrong exfoliant. Those crushed shell products? Throw them out. They make little cuts in your skin and can spread infections. Exfoliants with microbeads are better. Or simple use a clean cotton washcloth.
- Popping without prep. You can buy extractors or pull out a needle, but unless you prep first, you can make matters worse. Rule #1: If the head of your pimple isn’t white, leave it alone. Prep by cleaning your hands, your skin, warming the pimple and sterilizing your pimple and extractor with alcohol. Use gauze to cover your finger tips. Press up and in from the sides. If at first you don’t succeed, don’t “try try again”.
- Forgetting to wash your hands throughout the day. (Applies to phones – wipe them down once a day with an alcohol wipe or screen cleaner.)
- Delaying needed medical care. Not seeing a dermatologist when your acne is uncontrolled. Don’t wait to get professional treatment and acne care products. If your acne is more than the occasional pimple, taking steps early can save you years of misery and prevent scarring that can last a lifetime.