Almost all teens get ‘zits’ at one time or another. Here are some things you can do to keep it under control.
Do’s and Don’ts of Acne Management
- Be patient and persistent. Stick closely to your skin regimen and keep in mind can take up to 4 weeks before you note improvement in your skin
- Don’t over-treat. Using more of a product won’t help your acne improve sooner. A pea-sized amount of acne medication is sufficient for the entire face.
- Moisturize well. Acne products can dry out and irritate the skin. Use a moisturizer that contains SPF 30 and pick a product that includes the words “non-comedogenic” (won’t clog pores) or “oil-free” in the description.
- Be kind to your skin. Use a gentle soap (bar or liquid) and don’t scrub. Avoid loofahs, pore strips or “buff puffs” that can irritate, and don’t wash too often. Twice a day with a gentle soap is sufficient. (Examples:Cetaphil, CeraVe, Dove Sensitive)
- Don’t squeeze or pick at acne. This just causes more irritation and inflammation and can cause scarring.
- Wash hair regularly, especially if hair is oilier. Avoid greasy hair products or oily, pore clogging make up
Over the counter treatment option:
If washing with a gentle cleanser twice daily is not controlling break outs, it may be time to trial an acne medication. Benzoyl peroxide wash, lotion, or gel—the most effective acne treatment you can get without a prescription. It helps kill bacteria in the skin, unplug oil ducts, and heal pimples. There are a lot of different brands and different strengths (2.25% up to 10%). The gel may dry out your skin and make it redder than the wash or lotion, so try the wash or lotion first.
How to use benzoyl peroxide
- Start slowly—only once a day with a 2.5% wash or lotion. After a week, try using it twice a day (morning and night) if your skin isn’t too red or isn’t peeling.
- Don’t just dab it on top of your pimples. Apply a thin layer to the entire area where pimples may occur. Avoid the skin around your eyes.
- If your acne isn’t any better after 4 to 6 weeks, try a 5-10% lotion or gel. Use it once a day at first and then try twice a day if it doesn’t irritate your skin.
- If your acne is still not any better it may be time to discuss prescription medications with your provider.
For more information or questions regarding acne management please call our office and make an appointment with one of our providers. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/teen/Pages/Teens-and-Acne.aspx