Acne: Tips to help you see clearer skin
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* This section is provided free of charge to you from the American Academy of Dermatology's library. We do not treat all conditions listed here, nor do we perform all treatments discussed in this section. This is purely meant to be a reliable resource for patients with an interest in, or questions about, a wide array of dermatologic topics.
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It’s very common for patients with acne to scrub their skin and to use harsh products, yet doing so often makes acne worse. In order for acne to improve, people with acne must be gentle when touching their skin and use gentle products, such as those that are alcohol-free.
For clearer skin, dermatologist recommend people with acne also follow these tips:
- Wash twice a day and after sweating. Perspiration, especially when wearing a hat or helmet, can make acne worse, so wash your skin as soon as possible after sweating.
- Use your fingertips to apply a gentle, non-abrasive cleanser. Using a washcloth, mesh sponge or anything else can irritate the skin. Do not use skin care products that irritate the skin, which may include astringents, toners, and exfoliants. Dry, red skin makes acne appear worse.
- Rinse with lukewarm water.
- Shampoo regularly. If you have oily hair, shampoo daily.
- Let your skin heal naturally. If you pick, pop or squeeze your acne, your skin will take longer to clear and you increase your risk of getting acne scars.
- Keep your hands off your face. Touching your skin throughout the day can cause flare-ups.
- Stay out of the sun and tanning beds. Tanning damages your skin. In addition, some acne medications make the skin very sensitive to ultraviolet (UV) light, which you get from both the sun and indoor tanning devices.
- Using tanning beds increases your risk for melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, by 75 percent, and the risk increases with each use.