With acne, the key is prevention — stopping acne before it appears. So as soon as the first signs of appear start acne treatment. This will help to reduce the likelihood of worsening breakouts, scarring or permanent skin damage. Continue with treatment once your skin is clear as this will help to prevent further breakouts.
Skin hygiene is paramount when it comes to managing acne. Frequent touching the site of acne can lead to P. acne being transferred to other sites on the face or body. Picking or squeezing blemishes or blackheads can lead to scarring. Good hygiene practices help to minimise irritation, scarring and bacterial transfer. Some useful skin-care suggestions to help minimise acne include:
- Don’t over-wash your face. Wash your face once or twice a day. Washing at night helps to remove environmental grime, oil secretions, creams and make up. Washing in the morning removes debris and dead skin cells produced during the night. Use a mild natural soap such as Remedica Anago Facial Cleanser or foaming cleanser that won’t dry the skin out. If your skin feels tight or dry after washing it is an indication that the skin’s protective barrier has been significantly disrupted. This can lead to over production of sebum (oiliness).
- Wash your hands before touching your skin to reduce the chance of infection.
- Avoid picking or squeezing pimples as it can spread bacteria under the skin and cause skin damage, increasing the likelihood of scarring.
- If you have oily hair or pimples around your hairline, wash your hair daily.
- Avoid make up or face creams that are greasy or oily.
Rest & Relaxation
Stress affects our lives in all ways, some motivational and positive, others subtle and more insidious. While not historically recognised as a contributing factor in skin conditions, there is now growing body of evidence to show that stress has potentially harmful effects on the skin.
Stress can affect our appearance in a number of ways including increased perspiration, brittle nails, dry, thinning hair and sensitive more reactive skin. Where there is an existing skin condition, worsening can be seen in the following ways:
- Acne lesions and breakouts become more inflamed, last longer and take longer to heal
- Increased incidence of congestion and oily skin due to sebum production
- Increased sensitivity to irritants and infections agents
Taking the time to incorporate some simple stress reducing techniques into your daily routine will help improve the condition of your skin:
- Avoid excessive consumption of stimulants such as coffee and soft drink. One caffeine-containing drink per day is ample. For those that are particularly sensitive, drink green tea instead of coffee.
- Alcohol and smoking suppress the immune system. Smoking has many detrimental effects on the skin and so is best avoided completely. In moderation, alcohol consumption may help reduce stress however it is a fine and individual line, so stick to physician guidelines – one standard drink per day for women and two for men over the age of 18. In addition, try to go without at least 2 days per week.
- Exercise can significantly reduce stress levels. The release of endorphins following exercise increases feelings of happiness and wellbeing. In addition it increases circulation and therefore nutrition to your extremities, including your skin.
- Meditation or breathing techniques. Meditation reduces cortisol release and increases immune function – ideal if you are suffering from a skin condition. If you are a beginner, take a class in Buteko breathing or follow a guided meditation.