Acne. The dreaded acne. Acne is common, but that doesn’t mean you have to deal with having pimples on your face. My goal in treating my patients’ acne is to completely clear their face. Acne affects nearly 100% of people at some point in their life. It is a myth that only teenagers get acne. One of the more distressed groups of people are 25-40 year old females with acne (and rightfully so).

So what can you do if you find yourself breaking out? If your acne is mild (just a few pimples and nothing deep or painful), start with a wash that contains 2% salicylic acid or 10% benzoyl peroxide. In addition, start using a gel or lotion with benzoyl peroxide. Use the wash every day and the gel/lotion every other day – because it can be drying to your skin. There are a lot of drugstore brands with these active ingredients which can be found on the back of the boxes.

Be careful not to combine too many products at once with these medications because you might dry and irritate your skin. You can still use makeup and other products, but be sure to look for ones labeled as non comedogenic, a word to describe products that will not clog your pores. 

It may take a few weeks and even a couple of months for your skin to clear up, so don’t give up on the products. When your skin does clear up continue to use the wash to help prevent any future breakouts. 

If you have deep, painful or really bad acne see your doctor or a dermatologist – you may need prescription medications. It is important to treat more severe acne early so you don’t get scarring. Oh – and don’t use tanning or the sun for acne treatment, this will clear things in the short run but it can cause more acne (and skin cancer and wrinkles!) in the long run.

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