When you’re suffering an acne breakout, it can be hard not to focus on your pimples. So perhaps the biggest don’ts to remember with acne are don’t feel that you are alone and don’t let it rule your life. Do remember that the American Academy of Dermatology says that 85 percent of people will have acne at some point. In fact, more than 40 percent and some 40 million to 50 million people in the United States have active acne. Here are some other dos and dont’s to remember.
Don’t stress. Of course, simply knowing you’re not alone won’t relieve your symptoms, but it might help reduce some of the accompanying stress, and avoiding stress can help reduce breakouts. According to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS), although stress won’t cause acne unless you are already genetically predisposed to it, it can aggravate symptoms if you are.
Do eat a healthy diet. Just as stress can’t cause acne but can aggravate it, some fatty or sugary foods can act as triggers to those already prone to breakouts. Try keeping a food diary and noting when acne symptoms are increased, and look for recurring patterns. Don’t expect eliminating certain foods to completely rid you of acne, though.
Don’t pop pimples. Popping pimples can force bacteria further into the skin, leading to angry red spots and possibly scarring.
Do manage your breakouts with a good skincare regime. Choose “noncomedogenic” cosmetics, which won’t clog your pores, and look for a concealer containing benzoyl peroxide that will help treat pimples as well as cover them.
Don’t swap and change your skincare products. Dr. Ranella Hirsch, of the ASDS, says that often, “using the wrong or too many products is the source of the breakouts,” and that “self-diagnosing acne and using several over-the-counter skin care products at one time can sometimes irritate skin and lead to more frequent outbreaks.”
Do read the label. Always read the label on medication or skincare products, and follow the regime prescribed by your doctor. Both over-the-counter and prescribed products may take six to eight weeks to take effect, so be patient, stick with it and remember that it will get better in time.
This article was originally published as Acne Dos and Don’ts on DailyParent.com.