Topical medications for acne can sometimes cause dryness on the skin. This can be problematic enough, but what if you already have dry skin? Acne expert Dr. Schweiger explains that, “The best way to treat dry skin while using acne treatments is to use the acne medications sparingly. Only a small amount of topical acne medications is necessary to cover the entire face; I often find that patients who experience dryness are using too much of their medications, without realizing it. Secondly, I recommend that patients apply a moisturizer immediately following their topical acne medication. This helps to both seal in the skin’s moisture and add moisture, to prevent the topical acne creams from causing more dryness to the skin.”
Patients with dry skin should begin by using any potentially drying topical acne treatments only three nights a week (during your initial visit, we will review which medications may cause dryness on the skin.) If three nights a week does not cause dryness, it is acceptable to add one night a week as tolerated. Some people may be able to use topical acne medications every night, but many people with dry skin need to increase their frequency of use slowly. As Dr. Schweiger mentioned, only a pea-size amount of medication is necessary to treat the entire face. Once the medication is applied, a thin layer of moisturizer can help to prevent dryness from the medication.