Acne is one of the most common skin conditions in the world, with nearly 85% of people developing the disorder at some point during their lives. In the United States alone, an estimated 40 million to 50 million Americans have acne. A significant number of these people are likely teenagers, as 40% of adolescents will report having acne or acne scarring by their mid-teens due to hormonal changes in their bodies. However, millions of people who experience acne into their twenties and beyond for a variety of reasons, including stress and poor skin care. For this reason, many people will turn to a dermatologist for acne treatment products and methods that will help them achieve beautiful, healthy skin. But before you search out the best acne dermatologist in your area, it may be beneficial to try a number of basic steps that can often help clear acne and other basic skin problems.
- Wash the Affected Area Twice a Day, and Again After Sweating– Acne is often caused by dirty, blocked pores. Making a habit of washing your skin when you wake up and before you go to sleep is an easy way to ensure that your skin is relatively clean throughout the day. Likewise, washing after you sweat helps prevent pores from becoming clogged. However, be careful not to wash too often; this can actually irritate your skin and create further problems.
- Make Sure You’re Cleansing Properly– Just as you shouldn’t wash your face too often, washing the wrong way can cause additional problems as well. Dermatologists recommend applying a gentle, non-abrasive product with your fingers; a washcloth or sponge may be too abrasive. Avoid irritating products, and avoid scrubbing your skin, as these can make your acne worse. When you’re done, rinse with lukewarm water.
- Avoid Your Body’s Natural Oils– Acne on your face, neck and shoulders may be caused by contact with greasy hair, so wash your hair regularly as well. Touching your face and other areas that are prone to acne can also spread oil and cause flare-ups, so try to keep your hands away from your skin as much as possible.
- Let Your Skin Heal– Picking or popping your acne can lengthen the healing process, and in some cases, causing lasting scars that the best acne dermatologists will be unable to treat fully. While it may be tempting, leaving your acne alone unless you’re cleaning it is often the best way to get clear skin.
If you follow these steps for several weeks, you are likely to see a change in the condition of your skin. However, if your acne is extremely uncomfortable or painful, has caused scarring, or does not respond to the basic steps listed above, it is time to visit a dermatologist clinic. These clinics have access to a variety of targeted acne products and procedures, such as laser acne treatments. However, it is important to remember that the best acne dermatologists treat every patient as an individual case, responding to their individual needs and concerns and assigning a unique skin care regimen. As common as acne is, this is exactly what most patients need to achieve the beautiful, healthy skin they want.