Good acne care goes way beyond just rubbing a medicated cream on your pimples. Effective acne treatments may be the foundation of your acne care routine, but good acne care also includes understanding your skin, caring for it properly, and dealing with emotional issues that acne can cause.
Here are four things you must know in order to get the most from your acne care routine:
How and Why Acne Develops
Good acne care starts with a firm understanding of acne causes and development. Knowing what causes acne will help you understand why you're breaking out. These reasons will be different if you're a teenager or someone with adult onset acne.
You'll also need to know about acne severity and where your acne falls on that scale. Severe acne isn't going to respond to over-the-counter treatments. On the flip side, there's no need to rush into prescription medications if a drugstore lotion will do. Knowing the degree of your acne severity will help you decide if you have a treat-it-yourself case or if you need to call in some help.
Good Acne Care Includes Good Skin Care
Acne can't be washed away, but a good skin care routine will help support your acne care treatment. Fortunately, caring for your skin doesn't mean buying a ton of expensive products or spending hours masking and moisturizing.
Consistency is important. Taking care of your skin only takes a few minutes per day, but it should be done reliably.
Don't go overboard with your skin care treatments, though. A twice a day cleansing is fine for most people. And don't use a bunch of medicated skin care products if you're already on a prescription acne treatment (unless your doc gives you the green light).
Which Treatments Are Right for You?
The hardest acne care task is often finding the right treatment. There are many great options available, but not all will be suitable for you.
What works for super-oily, resilient teen skin can be too aggressive for the adult acne sufferer. Some treatments are safe for moms-to-be; some should never be used during pregnancy. Knowing which treatments are appropriate for you is key to getting the best acne care possible.
Over-the-counter products might work if you have a few mild blemishes or break out intermittently. For moderate to severe acne, or milder forms that you just can't banish, it's time to see your doctor.
Acne Can Impact You Emotionally, Too
You're finding out everything you can about acne care, which is great. But there is one key component of acne care that often gets left out of the equation -- how acne affects you emotionally. Having acne affects nearly everyone's self-confidence, even if only a little.
And don't think that only those with severe acne feel self-conscious about their skin. Some with more serious breakouts take their acne in stride, while others are intensely affected by their mild acne.
Be aware of how acne is affecting you (or your child, friend, etc.) Be understanding. Know when it's time to get help for yourself or a loved one.