Even though you may think of acne as mostly a teenage skin problem, people in their 20s, 30s and 40s can get acne, too. Acne is the term for plugged pores, according to Rutgers State University. When sebum, dead cells, hair or bacteria clog your pores, you can get blackheads, pimples or even lumps or cysts. Hormones also play a role, because certain hormones create sebum.
It is important to take care of the skin on your face and treat any acne you may have, because acne can leave scars. Although you do need to wash your face, washing it too much or too harshly can actually make your acne worse, according to the Rutgers website. Because dirt is not a cause of acne, vigorous washing is unnecessary. If you have acne, you should wash your face twice a day. You may even want to wash using your hands, as a terrycloth washcloth might be too rough, causing acne sores to rupture.
What to Use
With mild acne, washing twice a day with soap and water is sufficient. For moderate or more severe acne, instead of washing with soap and water, choose an acne treatment cleanser that contains salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide for better results, according to WebMD.
Stick with the Program
When you start treating your acne, keep up with the program. Don’t stop, thinking it is not working. The program can take up to six weeks for you to notice any improvement, according to the Rutgers website.
If you have blackheads or pimples, besides just washing, the treatment of choice is retinoids, which are vitamin A derivatives, according to the Rutgers website. Retinoids help to increase the skin cell turnover, which expels the material clogging your pores. Retinoids also prevent new blackheads and pimples from forming. You can get retinoids in cream or gel form, with the gels typically being more potent.
You can follow up the washing with an over-the-counter cream that contains benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, clindamycin or erythromycin. These medicines will kill the bacteria in your skin and pores and should decrease your breakouts, according to the Rutgers website.
- woman washing her face image by Jarek Miarka from Fotolia.com