CAN I TREAT ACNE IF I HAVE SENSITIVE SKIN? MOST PEOPLE CAN TOLERATE SALICYLIC ACID. THE MOST COMMON CAUSE OF IRRITATION IS BENZOYL PEROXIDE, AND THEN RETINOL. BOTH ARE DRYING.
CAN I CONTROL HORMONAL ACNE?
Yes, by controlling your hormones. Hormonal acne can appear anywhere on the body, and it typically flares the week before or as you get your period, which is when hormones peak. High levels of types of hormones called androgens (which include testosterone) can lead to acne. Since this type of acne is unpredictable and can be hard to avoid using only topical treatments, talk to your dermatologist about oral medication. Medications with anti-androgen properties are a popular choice for docs treating hormonal acne.
WHAT ABOUT STRESS-RELATED BREAKOUTS?
Stress can exacerbate acne, particularly if you’re genetically predisposed to it, but it’s not the primary cause. Stress depresses your immune system, and that may make your acne worse by lowering your body’s ability to fight inflammation. Also, when we’re stressed, many of us start picking at our skin. A good spot treatment will not only treat the area but keep you from putting your hands all over it. You can also use a small bandage to cover the area when you’re not in public, because you may not even notice you’re picking.
WHY DOES MY FACE BREAK OUT WHEN I MOISTURISE?
If your moisturiser is heavy or rich, it can clog pores, so switch to a light or oil-free moisturiser. TRY: (5) Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturiser SPF15, $19.99
SHOULD I USE A TONER OR AN ASTRINGENT FOR BREAKOUTS?
If you have very oily skin – which is sometimes the case for people with acne – using a toner or an astringent twice a day can help you. It draws out the excess oil that can clog pores and is gentle for all skin types. TRY: (3) Sukin Oil Balancing Clarifying Facial Tonic, $13.95
I CHANGE MY UNDERWEAR DAILY AND ALSO POSTWORKOUT, WASH WITH SALICYLIC ACID, GENTLY EXFOLIATE AND HAVE SWITCHED LAUNDRY DETERGENTS. WHY CAN’T I CLEAR UP MY BUTTNE?
This isn’t true acne – it’s folliculitis, an infection of the hair follicles. It can certainly occur on the bum, particularly if you wear tight jeans or pants and are sitting for long periods of time. We typically prescribe antibiotics or topical antibiotic creams – if you see a derm – but you may have success with standard over-the-counter topical acne treatments as well. People with folliculitis on their bum tend to have small bumps called inflammatory papules, which respond best to the prescription treatments that help target the bacterial component.
HOW DO I FIX ACNE SCARRING?
Consult with a cosmetic dermatologist about which method is best, because different scars respond to different treatments. Generally, there are three types of acne scars: a rolling scar (a slight indent), an ice-pick depression scar (a deep dent), and a boxcar scar (a flat depression in the skin). Sometimes people have multiple kinds, so they need a combination of treatments. Options include laser treatments, subcisions (a needle inserted under skin parallel to the surface to break up scar tissue), microneedling (tiny punctures in skin to stimulate collagen to fill out dents), fillers and chemical peels.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I WASH MY FACE TO MAINTAIN CLEAR SKIN?
The most important time is at night. If your skin is clean, you don’t need to scrub away in the morning. People with acne tend to wash too often and rub too hard because they feel their skin looks dirty, but that can aggravate skin and cause it to become more red and flaky. You could also try using a micellar water in the evening to gently remove make-up and unclog pores. TRY: (9) Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water, $13.95