Having acne as a teenager is difficult, but there's something that makes dealing with it when you're an adult more than frustrating.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, some people live with blemishes in their 30s, 40s and even 50s. While it's most common for women with fluctuating hormone levels – particularly around periods, and during pregnancy or menopause – anyone with high stress levels, family history of acne or recently clogged pores can experience breakouts.
Whether you've been living with bad skin since your teenage years or recently noticed more blemishes in your complexion, consider the following care tips for eliminating pimples and preventing their return:
1. Wash your face twice a day
Using a gentle cleanser – or one designed specifically for acne-prone skin – wash your face once in the morning and again right before bed. This combats everything your complexion faced out in the atmosphere during the day and removes leftover dirt and oil from the night before.
2. Exfoliate once a week at most
Scrubbing your face with harsh exfoliants may seem like the answer to eliminating acne, but it can actually make things worse, according to the AAD. It's important to exfoliate on a regular basis to buff away dead skin, but use a gentle option to avoid irritation.
3. Use topical treatment as needed
Topical treatments can work wonders, eliminating pimples and reducing their chances of returning. Benzoyl peroxide, specifically, can eliminate the bacteria causing the spots, according to Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.
"Benzoyl peroxide destroys the acne-causing bacteria that are trapped within the follicle, causing inflammation," he told Allure magazine.
4. Don't touch your face or pop pimples
Your hands are all over the place on a daily basis, and touching acne-prone skin can exacerbate the issue. Avoid touching your face to reduce breakouts, and refrain from popping pimples as well. Picking at blemishes leads to redness and could cause scarring.
5. Wash your pillow cases often
The oils from your face and hair always end up on your pillow case, and if you toss and turn throughout the night, this oil will penetrate your pores. Wash your bedding once or twice a week to avoid this issue.
6. Apply cold pressure
Inflamed pimples can be unsightly and irritating. To reduce the swelling, Zeichner recommended this trick using an ice cube:
"Ice-cold temperatures help constrict blood vessels, so wrap an ice cube in a paper towel and hold it against the bump to reduce redness and bring down the swelling a bit," he shared with Allure magazine.
7. Stay hydrated
According to Thrive Global, proper hydration detoxifies the skin, eliminating built-up waste in the cells. Because the body is made up of nearly 60% water and the skin is the body's largest organ, consuming water is essential to a healthy complexion. You can also use moisturizing products on the surface of the skin for proper hydration.
8. Follow a healthy diet
Consuming too many foods that are high in sugar releases excess insulin in your blood, according to Healthline. When this occurs, your oil glands produce more oil, thus increasing your risk of experiencing breakouts. Eat more whole foods, like fruits and vegetables, for a healthy complexion.
9. Talk to a specialist
When acne gets out of control, it's time to sit back and let the specialists take care of it. One of the dermatologists at Maryland Plastic Surgery can examine your skin to determine what type of skin issues you have, and how what treatment option would be most effective based on the state of your complexion.
10. Consider an acne-eliminating procedure
If you've tried all of the at-home remedies and notice little to no difference in your complexion, a professional treatment may be your next best bet. Light therapy, chemical peels and extractions are three options can clear your complexion, reduce scarring and boost your self-esteem.
Learn more about your options for skin care at Maryland Plastic Surgery today.