Up to 50 million Americans — kids, teens, and adults — suffer from acne to some degree. Some cases are mild and only require occasional over-the-counter treatments. But other cases are severe, painful, and chronic, requiring the expert care of an experienced dermatologist like Dr. Robert Topham at Holladay Dermatology & Aesthetics in the Salt Lake City, Utah, area.
The reason so many teens and adults come to Dr. Topham for acne treatments is because he offers professional care, effective solutions, customized treatment plans, and excellent results.
Dr. Topham takes the time to listen to your story and understand your unique symptoms. He identifies the underlying cause of your particular type of acne and matches you with the best treatment for your skin.
Above all, he stresses the importance of a healthy skin-care regimen that can give your treatment a helping hand. Here are some of his best tips for minimizing your acne breakouts and optimizing your treatment results.
Wash your face the right way
This may seem like a no-brainer, but many people wash their face incorrectly and too often. To understand why your washing method matters, you need to understand one of the main contributors to acne — oil.
When your skin secretes too much sebum (oil), it can clog your pores and trap in dirt and dead skin cells, which causes an acne breakout. You may think the answer is to wash your face more often. Ironically, doing so triggers your skin to produce even more oil to replace what you’re stripping away, so frequent washing actually makes the problem worse.
Limit face washing to twice a day.
Ditch the washcloth and sponge — they’re too abrasive. Instead, just use your fingers to apply a gentle cleansing product free of alcohol and other astringent chemicals.
Rinse with warm, not hot, water, and pat dry.
Moisturize and hydrate
Dry skin triggers oil production, so keep your clean skin well-hydrated. Opt for noncomedogenic products that contain no colors or perfumes.
And don’t forget to hydrate from the inside out. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day nourishes your skin.
Lay off makeup for a while
Everyone has reached for concealer to quickly hide a hideous pimple before class or meeting friends, but that can make things even worse.
Foundations, concealers, and mineral powders instantly clog up your pores and exacerbate your acne.
For those times when you absolutely must dab on a bit of makeup, go for noncomedogenic formulas or tinted moisturizers that contain a little bit of salicylic acid to help heal pimples while covering them up.
Beware of styling products
Even if you’re really careful about what you put on your face, your facial skin may still come into contact with pimple-triggering products.
Anything you put on your hair can migrate to your face, including leave-in conditioners, anti-frizz products, heat protectants, argan oil, hairspray, and dry shampoo. If you have long hair that touches your face, the risk is even higher.
If you use these on your hair, read the label and look for oil-free products.
Stay out of the sun
The warm sun feels great on your skin and may even dry up some of the excess oil, but it’s just as likely to trigger excess oil production as your skin responds to the dryness.
The sun’s ultraviolet rays may also cause a negative reaction if you’re taking antibiotics or other acne medications, so check with Dr. Topham about your medications and the potential side effects.
Don’t touch your face
You’d be surprised at how many times you touch your face throughout the day without even thinking about it. And for many people, it poses no harm. But if you have acne, it can bring on or exacerbate a flare-up.
Every time your fingers touch your face, they introduce the bacteria picked from your phone, your steering wheel, the ATM machine, and anything else they’ve come into contact with, and your acne-prone skin doesn't stand a chance against all those pathogens.
How to finally get rid of your acne
Acne is a complex skin condition that requires individualized professional treatment. No cookie-cutter approach or single product works on all people.
Dr. Topham may use any combination of treatments for your acne, including:
- Prescription-strength topical treatments
- Oral medications
- Birth control pills (for girls and women)
- Laser and light therapies
- Drainage and extraction procedures
To find out which treatment is right for your type of acne, schedule a consultation with Dr. Topham by calling our office in Holladay, Utah, today.