As some of you may know, I teach for a holistic wellness program through a nearby state university. My topic -- skin care (fairly obvious, right?)
After doing this for more than a decade, I can say with relative certainty that acne is by far and away the most common skin care problem. So if there you had any doubt, I can assure you that you're far from the only one struggling with your skin.
Something became very clear to me after my last class. Today we have so many acne treatment options available, but many people quit using them too soon, before giving them a real chance to work.
Case in point: one of my students this week told me she had been dealing with acne since her teen years (it continued into adulthood). She listed off the whole gamut of treatments she had tried -- from benzoyl peroxide to salicylic acid to Retin-A. None had given her good results.
Understandably, she was frustrated, telling me about the cabinet full of half-used medications she still had. That was what caught my attention, the half-used tubes and bottles of acne treatments. So I asked, how long did you use over-the-counter products? What about prescription medications?
Turns out, she had only stuck with each treatment for just two or three weeks. Disappointed when she didn't see results, she would quit and try something else.
The thing is, the vast majority of acne medications take at least 8 to 10 weeks to work. Don't quit too soon! You might not see results at week 2, but maybe you will on week 12.
I suggested my student head back to the doctor for a prescription treatment, use that treatment consistently, and give it the time it needs to work. (I also suggested she go through her cabinet and get rid of those old treatments. Did you know skin care products and acne medications can go bad? Check that expiration date!)
Will the next treatment prescribed for my student work for her? I sure hope so, but in truth I don't know. But I do know that no treatment will work if not given the proper time.
Ask your derm how long it will take to see results from your treatments. Then, stick with it, and be consistent. I always tell my students and clients to mark 12 weeks out on their calender, and commit to using their treatments until that point. That gives you something to shoot for, and can help you stick with treatment and not be tempted to quit too soon.
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