Top 8 Acne Treatment Mistakes

Common ways people go wrong in treating their acne
It's easy to make mistakes treating acne or even make it worse, despite the best intentions.
Here, experts list the most common mistakes people make while treating acne. In most cases, a dermatologist can help undo the damage.

Mistake No. 1: Not trying an acne treatment long enough
Skin reacts slowly to treatment. Even if the acne came on fast, it still requires time to heal. That usually takes between two to six weeks, says Barbara R. Reed, MD, a dermatology professor at the University of Colorado Hospital in Denver.
“It's not an infection, it's an inflammation. It can even get worse before it gets better

Mistake No. 2: Trying too many products at once
People usually layer on products when they don't get results in the first few days of treatment,
“What then happens is that they start trying different products, abandoning them very quickly if they do not see results in a day or two. They also add one product to another. Sometimes the products can cause irritation of the skin and add further insult to the owner

Mistake No. 3: Overscrubbing or overcleansing the skin
Scrubbing the skin will actually worsen acne, as it can compromise the skin's protective barrier and can increase irritation
Instead, gently wash with a nonirritating, pH-balanced cleanser to decrease inflammation. It's also important to thoroughly rinse off the cleanser because the residue can be irritating

Mistake No. 4: Choosing the wrong products for acne-prone skin
Harsh cleansers, alkaline bar soaps, and alcohol-based products may worsen acne, says Berson, who has consulted for skin care product makers Galderma Stiefel, Proctor & Gamble, and Neutrogena.
advises patients to look for “noncomedogenic” or “for acne-prone skin” products. Noncomedogenic products do not contain ingredients that tend to clog pores in people with acne-prone skin.

Mistake No. 5: Popping and picking at pimples
Popping and picking pimples prolongs healing time and increases the risk of scarring. Infected material can get pushed further into the skin, leading to more swelling and redness
“People tend to groom the lesions. They examine them very closely several times a day and start imagining that there is something they can stick in the lesion or extract from the lesion. So they pick and the lesion gets worse

Mistake No. 6: Waiting too long to see a dermatologist
It's time to make an appointment once acne starts taking a toll on self-esteem, becomes painful, causes excessive scarring, or if over-the-counter (OTC) medications aren't clearing it up
Dermatologists have more tools to treat acne, and can prescribe stronger doses of OTC medications and oral antibiotics. They also offer new technologies, such as light and laser therapy, and chemical peels. However, newer does not necessarily mean better, and these treatments are probably not necessary to treat a patient's acne

Mistake No. 7: Overusing or under using a prescribed acne medication
patients to use the medication as instructed. Overusage will not help clear the acne, but can cause additional redness and dryness.
Not sticking to a regimen delays any potential improvements.
Half of the battle is consistency. Many people under use because they lose motivation after the first two weeks. They can't expect results overnight
“You need to apply medication to the entire affected area that tends to break out, instead of spot treating. With spot treating, you haven't addressed the area next to it, where another pimple could be brewing
To keep skin blemish-free, most people need to continue usage with at least one acne product. It's possible to cut down to a few times a week if someone is using an OTC medication

Mistake No. 8: Stopping the use of acne medication once it clears up
It is best to taper medication usage by using it less and less. For example, if you've been using it twice a day, use it once a day for awhile, then once every other day, then twice a week, and then stop. It often takes acne four to six weeks to return, just like it took it the same amount of time for it to get better

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