Acne is a condition that affects millions of people all over the world. There are several treatments available to treat all types of acne – mild, moderate or severe. Some may work while others may not. The best route to take is acne prevention rather than waiting for it to occur and then trying to find the right treatment.
Ways to prevent acne
Cleanse your face: Since the face is the place where most acne outbursts occur, it is important to use a good quality facial cleanser. Choose one that is suited for acne-prone or oily skin. Use this cleanser daily in the morning and evening.
Be careful not to over wash your face or other parts of your body. This can strip essential skin oils, leaving it vulnerable to attack by the P.acnes bacteria. A person who already has acne will only increase the outbreak if they over scrub. Pimples can burst and spread infection to a wider area. Choose a special cleanser or soap that is not overly harsh. This should contain antibacterial ingredients and no perfume. Search for products that are labeled for acne skin. These are safe and gentle and contain ingredients that fight acne without over-drying skin.
Exfoliation: Exfoliation is a process of scrubbing dirt, debris and other pollutants off the surface of your skin. There are many products available for acne. Use these products as directed. Scrub gently, for otherwise your sensitive skin can get aggravated and inflamed. This will remove dead skin cells and bacteria off your skin. Buy a good oil-free moisturizer to use after exfoliation for this process dries up skin.
Balanced Diet: A nutritious, balanced diet including lots of vegetables and fruits will help with acne prevention and keep the body healthy. Along with this, is a host of products that you need to avoid or eat sparingly – processed foods, fatty foods, dairy products, and excessive sugar, etc. Eating foods that contain anti-oxidants help fight free radicals and infections.
Multivitamins: A good multivitamin supplement can prevent acne outbreaks. There are some specific for acne itself. So, identify this type of supplement for it will contain a range of nutrients that will normally not be eaten in everyday diets.
De-stress: Stress is one major cause of acne. Hence, try not to stress too much. If you are in a stressful job, try to relax and unwind each day with a hot bath or massage. Sleep and eat well not forgetting your multivitamins. Try to avoid or minimize stressful situations. If this is not possible, getting help from a counselor could be a good option.
Skin tight apparel: Acne mechanica is caused by using skin tight apparel like helmets, backpacks, hats etc., for long periods. Skin tight clothes made from material like polyester that does not absorb sweat also causes acne. Hence, remember not to use equipment or apparels for long periods. Wear a soft cotton undershirt to allow sweat to get absorbed. Very tight clothing abrades inflamed skin and can spread acne. Always wear loose clothing to exercise or to play sports.
Do not prick your pimple : Squeezing, pricking, picking or rubbing acne lesions can inflame them. Some people think that by breaking a pimple it will dry faster. Actually breaking it will make it worse. It will also increase the risk of scarring. When a pimple bursts, pus can burst into the skin and not out, therefore causing bacteria and infection to burrow deeper. For those with dark skin, pricking an acne zit can increase melanin production and create dark spots.
Shaving : Men should be careful when shaving to prevent breaking pimples. Ingrown hairs that occur due to shaving can cause pustules to form. Shaving damages these pustules, spreads infection and leads to scars. Acne prevention requires men to follow the right shaving techniques to prevent outbreaks. First wet the skin to soften hairs. Use a sharp blade. Use gentle strokes when shaving. Try using an electric razor fitted with standard blades that can minimize skin irritation.
Choose the right makeup: A lot of acne outbreaks are caused due to using the wrong cosmetics, soaps, cleansers, scrubs or perfumes (acne cosmetica). As part of acne prevention regimen, buy products that do not contain harsh chemicals, products with alcohol, petroleum or witch hazel that can irritate the skin. Do not scrub with buff puffs or loofahs. Choose cosmetics that are free from perfume and are oil-free. Look for products that are marked as non-acnegenic or non-comedogenic. This means they contain ingredients that do not clog pores or irritate existing acne.
Avoid heavy makeup – especially foundation and powders. These will clog the skin and prevent it from breathing. If you use a concealer for specific acne scars then choose one with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid in it. If your makeup causes acne then stop it, speak to your doctor and find out if your skin is allergic to a specific ingredient.
Makeup removal: Just as choosing the right cosmetics are an important part of acne prevention, cleaning your face thoroughly before going to bed is equally critical. Cosmetics can clog the tiny pores of hair follicles. Use a good cleanser to remove all makeup and finally apply the right moisturizer. It is critical you remove all eye makeup too – mascara, eye shadow and eye liner. Clean your cosmetic applicators and brushes with soapy lukewarm water regularly. Throw away old makeup after the expiry date.
Hair: Hair falling on the forehead or chin is a leading cause for acne in those areas. if you cannot do without pomades, hair sprays, cream rinses, mousses or hair gels, try to use them an inch beyond the hairline. Keep your hair away from your face with pins, barrettes or secure it in a ponytail. You can also cut your hair in a style that will not aggravate your skin. Wash oily hair often with a gentle shampoo.
While taking a Shower: It is important to shower at least twice daily – especially after strenuous exercise or work outs. Oil and sweat trap bacteria and dirt that will dry on the skin and cause acne.
Exposure to the sun: Excessive exposure to the sun can irritate the skin and cause acne outbreaks. As a preventive measure, always use a good sunscreen with SPF 15 or more. Use hat and shades to avoid the sun falling directly on your face. Your sunscreen must also be labeled as non-acnegenic and non-comedogenic.
Another preventive measure is to avoid artificial tanning. Some people think that it can clear acne scars or pigments. However, tanning beds increase the risk of skin cancer and signs of aging appear much earlier in people who expose themselves to the sun or artificial tanning lights for prolonged periods. The skin starts to turn red, sore and begins to peel.
Being proactive is the best route to acne prevention. If you want your skin to look healthy and glowing with little or no acne outbreaks, then take whatever preventive steps that is required. Acne outbreaks cannot be prevented especially if it is caused due to hormonal imbalance. Controlling the outbreaks and preventive methods can reduce its severity and help with the healing process.