First and foremost, we want to make it clear that acne is not caused by inadequate cleaning or hygiene. It is a hormonally driven process. Yet appropriate cleansing of the skin and other affiliated measures can help with acne. Periodic cleansing of the skin is one of the cornerstones in the management of acne. This helps remove excess oil, bacteria, and any residual medication as well as other products on the skin. But what about other hygiene measures that can make acne better? We want to give you some quick and easy personal skin care tips to help with your acne.
Acne Personal Skin Care
When it comes to cleaning frequency, you should wash any areas with acne at least once daily. For the face, we recommend this twice daily. One of the major contributing problems making acne worse is excess oil production from the oil glands. These oil glands are otherwise known as sebaceous glands, in the skin. Periodic cleaning helps remove excess oils, improving the overall appearance.
Cleansers for Acne
The stores are filled with a myriad of cleansers that are marketed specifically for acne. Some cleansers include medication, while others do not. The best dermatologists know when it is an appropriate time to start a medicated cleanser containing benzoyl peroxide. Benzol peroxide can help acne in many ways, including reducing oil production, removing excess oil, breaking up the microscopic plugs in the pores, and reducing inflammation. Aside from dryness and rare allergic reactions to this medication, its only other problematic effect is bleaching fabrics. For this reason, we recommend patients not use their best washcloths and thoroughly rinse any excess medication off the skin. We primarily recommend CeraVe Foaming 4% benzoyl peroxide cleanser or Panoxyl 10% benzol peroxide foaming cleanser.
Dermatologist Recommended Face Cleansers
In almost all other cases the primary cleansers that we recommend are Dove bar soap, Cetaphil Foaming Cleanser, and CeraVe Foaming Cleanser. When it comes to the face, we recommend lathering the affected area with soap and water for a short period of time, perhaps 20 to 30 seconds, then using a soft washcloth at the sink soaked in warm water to rinse the face multiple times. Ring out your washcloth after using the water to rinse your face 2 to 3 times, then repeat with the other side of the washcloth. This will leave your facial skin feeling refreshed and cleansed of excess oils and any leftover acne face wash medication which may still be present.
What Causes Acne?
As noted, most of us with acne have excess oil production. During sleep, this oil can easily transfer to bed linens and gradually build up over time. As we sleep, the oil may transfer back to our skin causing worsening and acne. For this reason, we recommend changing out your bedding with clean fresh bed linens weekly. This is especially important for those who might sleep on their side or belly because they would of course have more facial contact with their pillowcase.
Skin Care Products
Skincare products used including sunscreen, other creams and ointments, and make-up may also worsen acne through plugging of pores. At Advanced Dermatology of the Midlands, we recommend washing products like make-up and sunscreen off once they are no longer necessary during the day. Avoid sleeping with these products still on the skin overnight unless they are specifically medicated for acne.
One additional side note we want to discuss pertains to hair hanging down on the forehead. This is a common question we get asked by parents of our younger patients: Is the hair making the acne worse? Hair follicles in the scalp have robust and active oil glands surrounding them. This is especially true in younger patients such as teens with acne. If hair is kept relatively clean by shampooing daily to every other day, and minimal hair care products such as hairspray and hair gels are utilized, this should not be an issue. When it comes to hair care products, those that are thicker gels or pomades are greasy by nature and this greasy oiliness could make acne worse.
We hope you find this synopsis of basic personal skincare measures helpful when it comes to your acne. All our Dermatology providers have considerable experience treating this skin condition. If we may be of any further assistance, reach out to us to schedule a consultation for your acne. We are here to help you and your loved ones have the healthiest and best-looking skin possible.
Advanced Dermatology of the Midlands | Best Dermatologist Omaha & Council Bluffs, IA | Board Certified Dermatologists
At Advanced Dermatology the Midlands Our vision is to deliver the highest level of dermatological care, using the most advanced technology and evidence-based medicine in a personalized and compassionate environment. Contact us to schedule a consultation.