9 mistakes in the treatment of acne

Many do not treat acne in children and adolescents – they say it will grow and pass. But, alas, acne does not always go away with age. Moreover, it happens that acne begins to appear in childhood. Why is that? And what mistakes do people make in the treatment of acne? 

Marina S., a dermatovenereologist and consultant in laboratory medicine at the CMD Center for Molecular Diagnostics of the Central Research Institute of Epidemiology, told okemen.xyz about this.

Dermatologists often face the most incredible home acne treatments in their work. However, among them, there are the main, the most common. Treatment of patients would go much faster and more successfully if not for these flaws. Our expert, dermatologist Marina, spoke not only about the most common mistakes in patients with acne but also about ways to correct them.

Mistake #1: Unreasonably restrict yourself in nutrition 

The effect of diet on skin conditions has not been proven. But eating right and balanced is important, of course, in any case.

How to? watch to see if you have a connection between the consumption of certain foods and the appearance of acne on the face and body. If yes, make changes to your diet. If not, eat what you like. However, since research shows that a low-glycemic diet can reduce acne, ensure your diet includes fresh vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains. And try to limit fast carbohydrates (sweet juices, pastries). There is also evidence that people who consume cow’s milk are more likely to develop acne. But this does not mean that they need to be limited to everyone. Just remember the sense of proportion.

Mistake #2: Spending money on tests that a dermatologist didn’t prescribe 

Having passed the tests, most acne patients are only convinced of normal indicators. A visual examination is often enough for a doctor to verify the diagnosis. Even though the main cause of acne is hyperandrogenism, testosterone tests do not always show a high level of the male hormone. The sensitivity of receptors to androgens is simply broken. And the level of male sex hormones in the blood is often within the normal range. 

How to? Take tests only when the doctor has strong suspicions of concomitant pathology. Only with pronounced signs of hyperandrogenism (menstrual irregularities, increased hair growth in places atypical for women, and other signs) can a dermatologist refer the patient to a gynecologist-endocrinologist, who will recommend specific hormonal studies. 

Mistake #3: Treat yourself

Acne treatment is a complex process, and doctors study it specially. Treatment is selected taking into account the type of skin rash (comedones, papules, nodes), the location of acne, the patient’s age, and other points. 

Local treatment is effective only with a mild form, and tablets may already be needed with an average one. But even the wrong use of local remedies is dangerous. And systemic treatment, used without indications, is doubly harmful. You should not prescribe combined oral contraceptives (COCs) with an antiandrogenic effect, which gynecologists sometimes use if other acne treatment regimens have not helped. But you can’t take them arbitrarily because they have serious contraindications. They should be prescribed only by a gynecologist.

How to? Disciplined carry out all the doctor’s prescriptions and do not show initiative, which can be very dangerous.

Mistake #4: Wash your face often with soap and wipe your skin with alcohol

The appearance of acne, of course, is associated with dirt, but over-cleansing the skin does not get rid of acne, but you can break the skin’s protective layer. The use of alcohol also not only dries out the epidermis and increases water loss but also violates the integrity of the skin barrier. And dry skin can exacerbate acne.

The same applies to cleansers that disrupt the acid-base balance of the skin (ordinary soap, for example, which is also better not to use). 

How to? Wash your face with warm water twice a day, and every time you sweat a lot. Wash off cosmetics with special foams and products for problem skin, but not with soap. Wash oily hair daily. Don’t touch your face with your hands. Use cleansers that are free of alcohol and irritants. Take care of high-quality skin hydration.

Mistake #5: Use washcloths, rough sponges, and abrasive peels (including homemade ones made from ground coffee, sugar, and salt)

They only hurt the skin.

How to? Use a mild and non-abrasive cleanser. Apply it gently with your fingertips.

Mistake #6: Apply cosmetics that are not suitable for your skin type

Not all cosmetics are suitable for people with acne. Before buying any cosmetic product, you should read the label. There must be one of the following indications: the drug is non-comedogenic (Non-comedogenic), does not cause acne (Non-acnegenic), and does not clog pores. 

All products intended for problem skin should not contain fat. Therefore, look for a mention on the packaging of the product that the cream or any other cosmetic does not contain oils – Oil-free. You should also keep this in mind when making homemade masks, in which olive and other oils should not be added. 

Mistake #7: Trying to find the cause of other diseases

Often they are looked for in problems with the intestines and endocrine diseases. But most patients with acne do not have any comorbidities. 

How to. If there are no other symptoms besides acne, do not engage in hypochondria. And you need to go to a dermatologist. But since adult women with acne still have hormonal disorders, it is also recommended to seek the advice of a gynecologist. 

Mistake #8: Be treated by a beautician

Often, women with acne have unreasonable expectations for procedures such as facials. As a rule, they only make it worse for themselves since cleaning is additional traumatization of the skin, and it can lead to scarring and hyperpigmentation. And it does not remove the cause of acne. In addition, in the presence of rashes, cleaning is not recommended because this can only spread the rash to the entire skin of the face.

How to? Contact a specialist. We are talking about a skin disease, which means a dermatologist. If necessary, he will redirect to another specialized doctor.

Mistake #9: Visit solariums, sunbathe on the beach

UV rays have been proven to damage the skin. This will only make acne worse. 

How to? Avoid tanning beds, and on a sunny day, be sure to use sunscreen.

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