Couple of days ago I asked about your skincare concerns on Facebook and majority of readers mentioned Acne & Uneven skintone. I have covered “How to Control Acne and Skincare Routine” with the help of Dr Sirisha Singh of The Skin Center, and will soon be covering “Uneven skintone” reasons and treatment.
Q: How to control acne and what should be a skincare routine for acne prone skin. Also if there is any treatment available.
A: Acne, pimples, zits, teenage spots, etc. The names for acne are endless. It afflicts everyone in the world sometime or the other although the severity is variable. When one has acne, not only does it make one look unflattering but there is also a tendency to scar which can be disastrous for one’s self esteem and self-confidence.
Mild acne can be managed by a simple homecare routine if followed rigorously. More severe acne will need inputs from a dermatologist for medications and/or skin treatments. However, even people with severe acne need to follow a regular skincare routine which will help to reduce the amount and duration of medications.
Broadly speaking, the skincare routine should be:
- Cleansing : Regular cleansing of the skin is important in everyone and becomes more important in people with acne. A cleanser (soap/cleansing milk/ Homemade cleansers) should be used 2-3 times a day with lukewarm or cold water but not hot water. One could use a medicated face wash (available on prescription). They usually contain salicylic acid which helps to open up the pimples and also kills the bacteria. In people with very mild acne or children aged 10-12 years who are just beginning to develop acne, this may be adequate to control the acne. Most people with more severe acne get a medicated cream for overnight use on prescription which has a similar benefit as salicylic acid but works better as it stays on the skin overnight. These people may do better with a pH neutral cleanser which doesn’t dry the skin.
- Scrubbing: A scrub may be used 2 times a week in people with mild acne. This will help reduce the dead skin pile up and may help reduce the number of pimples. However, some infected pimples may get aggravated by a scrub and if your face itches or tingles during a scrub, it is best to avoid the scrub.
- Moisturising: A very common myth is that people with acne do not need a moisturiser. While it is the internal oil glands in the skin which are enlarged and the primary cause of pimples, people still need to use some amount of a mild moisturiser to keep the skin hydrated and soft. There are many gel based moisturisers available that do not aggravate the pimples. One such moisturiser may be used overnight especially if one is using a medicated cream which causes dryness.
- Sunscreen Application : A very common problem in Indian skin is that pimples heal leaving behind some pigmentation. This can be easily reduced by using a regular sunscreen. There are several gel based sunscreens which are non-comedogenic and can be safely used in people suffering from pimples.
- Wellness and Diet : It is very important to drink 10-12 glasses of water a day to flush out the toxins. It is very important to eat your 5 portions of fruits and vegetables a day. These not only provide anti-oxidants which help with healing of the skin but the fiber also ensures that the bowels are cleared up regularly.
- Over the counter treatments: People with mild acne may benefit from over the counter treatment products. Many brands have a treatment range which can be bought off the counter. Some commonly used brands are based on thermal spring water from France and can be quite effective in mild acne and for maintenance after treatment.
This was merely indicative and generally suitable for almost everyone although the product list may vary from person to person. The bottom-line is that each one of us has a different skin and we all have our own unique skin care needs. It is worthwhile consulting a dermatologist for a customised skin care and product list. If the acne is severe, the dermatologist may also have to investigate for hormonal imbalances and treat the underlying problem.
About Dr Sirisha Singh
Dr Sirisha Singh, the founding member and partner consultant of The Skin Center, is highly qualified with 8 years of work experience in the United Kingdom. Dr Sirisha Singh is a well known name in the Dermatology and academic circles and keeps in touch continuously with all the latest trends in anti-ageing medicine and Dermatology by regularly attending and presenting in conferences. She is a trainer for LUMENIS and regularly trains other doctors on the use of skin LASERs. Dr Sirisha Singh is particularly interested in injectables for anti-ageing such as botulinum toxin and fillers.
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