It can happen to anyone and frequently does. There you are, going about your life, perfectly confident about your skin, and then when a big event is coming up, your skin suddenly breaks out. Maybe it is the stress of the upcoming event, maybe you haven’t been taking care of your skin the way you should, or maybe you haven’t had enough water to drink, but whatever the cause, you’re left with a breakout just when you want to look your best. What can you do? How can you clear up acne quickly?
Unfortunately, there is no magic cure. A quick internet search will turn up a plethora of home remedies, but do they work? The good news is that some of them may help. For instance, if you have a red, angry-looking pimple, holding an ice cube to it can help reduce inflammation. A crushed aspirin, with some water to make it into a paste, can also help because aspirin is a salicylate and can reduce inflammation in the body. And, of course, over-the-counter acne treatment can help, especially products that contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. The bad news is that clear skin might not be yours in time for your event. Generally, dermatologists advise giving acne treatments four weeks to work, and then switching to a new tactic if you are not seeing results.
Of course, there are certain things you should absolutely never do when trying to clear up acne. First of all, do not cover your acne with pore-clogging makeup. This might cover it for your event, but the problem will be worse after that. You should also never squeeze or pick at a blemish. While you might think you are as skilled as a professional doing extractions, you are not, and you are likely to spread bacteria and create a bigger problem. Do your best to keep your hands off of your face when you have a breakout.
Ultimately, prevention can be the best cure when it comes to acne-prone skin. To prevent future breakouts, try a common sense approach and follow these guidelines:
- Watch for triggers in your diet. Some foods can have a negative impact on your skin, and once you determine which foods correspond with sudden breakouts, you will be able to plan your diet to benefit your skin. Sugar and dairy are some common culprits, and so are sugary drinks. Eliminate acne triggers to prevent recurring breakouts and, whatever you do, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water.
- Use non-comedogenic products. Non-comedogenic means a product will not clog your pores, which is a major source of breakouts. Especially when it comes to products like foundation, you want to make sure you choose a formula that won’t cause you to break out. Fortunately, there are some great products on the market that will actually act as cover and fight acne at the same time. If you need recommendations, talk to your dermatologist.
- Keep your face clean, but don’t overdo it. Some people scrub their acne-prone skin with harsh cleansers, multiple times a day, and are frustrated when they can’t keep acne at bay. The reality is that washing your face twice a day, once in the morning and once before bed, with a gentle cleanser, is the best way to keep your skin clean and clear.
- Look beyond your skincare routine. Make sure your shampoo isn’t contributing to the problem; shampoos that are heavily fragranced or contain sulfates can encourage breakouts. Wash your pillowcase and face towel frequently, too, so that using those things doesn’t promote bacterial growth on your face.
Of course, the best thing to do for acne is to seek the assistance of a professional. Your dermatologist has several solutions to help you achieve clear skin, and even treatments to address acne scars. Just make sure to follow your dermatologist’s directions carefully and be patient while you are waiting to see the results.
Swinyer-Woseth Dermatology is committed to providing superior, professional skin care in a manner that’s practical, efficient, and compassionate. With over 30 years of experience providing dermatological services in Salt Lake City, we provide a variety of services, from cosmetic skincare to treatment for skin cancer. Our team of board-certified dermatologists and licensed cosmetic service providers are here to provide you with the care you need in a comfortable, professional atmosphere. Call (801) 682-4715 or contact us through our website.