If you suffer from acne breakouts, you’ve probably done an awful lot of research online to figure out how to clear your complexion. There are so many myths on the Internet that it can be really confusing to know what’s true and what isn’t. Not only that, some common treatment options that you may have heard from others or in the media are not as effective at clearing your acne as they may appear.
There are three common habits that people with problem skin do on a regular basis. They think they are doing the right things to clear their acne, when, in fact, it could be making their situation worse. Popping pimples, exfoliating incorrectly and only spot treating blemishes all have the potential for creating more breakouts and pimples that last longer than necessary.
If you are dealing with acne prone skin, ask yourself if you are guilty of these three habits. And if you are, don’t feel bad. It is extremely common for people to engage in these activities with the hope that it is clearing their skin.
Read on to learn more about why popping, over exfoliating and spot treating may not be the quick fixes that you have hoped for.
3 Habits That Might Be Making Your Acne Worse
While it may seem like the best solution, squeezing, popping and picking at a pimple can make the problem worse. When you pop a blemish, it can push the acne causing bacteria deeper into the pore. It can also spread the bacteria to other pores, causing new pimples to form in other locations. If you use too much force, there is a greater chance that you will leave a scar that could result in a dark mark that lasts for months or even years after the blemish has healed.
The Internet provides us with videos of pimple popping as if it’s a fun pastime. The reality is that if you want to clear your pimple and protect your skin, you should never pop a pimple, unless it is done in a dermatologist’s office. The best thing to do is to leave the pimple alone and allow it to heal itself. Instead of popping the blemish, you may choose to apply ice to reduce the inflammation. Applying a topical product like salicylic acid or prescription medication from your dermatologist can also help reduce the pimple.
Spot Treating Only
Spot treating a blemish is not a bad habit in itself. However, it does neglect the fact that pimples do not happen overnight. While a blemish may seem to pop up out of the blue, they generally take a couple of weeks to appear on the skin, which means that they have been developing under the skin for days. While spot treating may help an existing blemish to heal more quickly, it is best to treat your entire face so that you can prevent those blemishes from developing under the skin in the first place.
Your dermatologist can recommend the best products and topical medications to be applied to your full face. By using these products and medications regularly, you can prevent the buildup of dead skin cells, reduce acne causing bacteria and calm swelling and inflammation. To successfully achieve a clear complexion, spot treating is just not enough. You must religiously treat your full face to prevent breakouts from developing deep under the skin.
Exfoliating Too Much or Incorrectly
Just like with spot treating, exfoliation is actually necessary for clear skin. However, problems may arise if you are over-exfoliating your skin or using products that are too harsh. Popular products on the shelves such as exfoliating scrubs often contain particles that can actually damage the skin on a micro-level. Instead of clearing dead skin cells, the scrubs can injure and irritate the skin causing infection, inflammation and breakouts.
Over-exfoliating by using harsh products or exfoliating too many times in a day can cause more skin problems. Knowing this, it is important that you choose a gentle exfoliator that comes recommended by your dermatologist, whether it is a physical exfoliator like a scrub or mask or a chemical exfoliator.
Since there is no permanent cure for acne, it can be really frustrating to figure out how to best treat your skin. What works for your friend may not work for you. The Internet is full of advice, but how do you know who to trust?
If you are struggling with acne in the Atlanta area, contact the dermatology office of Buckhead Dermatology. Dr. Straughn has been treating acne patients for over 25 years. She can provide you with guidance on how to properly exfoliate and treat your skin as well as perform medical extractions. These are done safely in the office with sanitized tools and a professional technique to ensure that your blemishes are handled in such a way as they will not cause scarring or more breakouts.
With offices in Atlanta and College Park, contact Buckhead Dermatology to schedule your consultation with our Atlanta acne dermatologist.