The fight against acne can sometimes feel as though it's draining your wallet. So how to beat and banish breakouts without breaking the bank? Dr. Schweiger often gets questions as to which products can be bought on the cheap and how to save money when shopping for acne products. Here are his top words of advice on how to save your skin from acne without using your life savings:
Ask your dermatologist for samples of acne-fighting skin care products.
Look for acne-fighting cleansers and treatments at the drug store rather than the department store. As long as the product contains one of the proven OTC acne-fighting ingredients, it will deliver results. A pricier product usually does not mean it's better.
Don't over-use your products. You may be tempted to use more than the directions call for because you think it will do a better job, but that's not the case.
As summer approaches, it is important to understand the potential for sun sensitivity that accompanies many common acne treatments. Our acne patients are often using a combination of prescription acne medications with in-office laser and light treatments. Both of these groups have potential to make your skin more sensitive to the sun.
In-office laser and light acne treatments, such as Photodynamic Therapy, can cause increased sun sensitivity. Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) uses a light-sensitizing medication called Levulan; this medication is activated by Blue Light in the office to decrease oil production and p. acne bacteria. However, the medication is absorbed in the pores and your skin remains very sun sensitive for at least 24 hours. It is important for patients to understand that they must avoid sun exposure after PDT.
There are prescription medications that cause increased sun sensitivity as well. Here is a list of a few medications that will require the diligent use of sunscreen this summer:
Doryx, Doxycycline, Retin-A Micro, Tazorac, Differin, Atralin, Monodox, Ziana
It is important that all patients wear broad-spectrum sunscreen regularly, though patients using these medications or treatments must be particularly careful.
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We have heard many complaints from patients that facial hair removal treatments, such as threading, plucking and waxing, can lead to acne breakouts afterwards. The most common sort of breakout is little white bumps in the area that the hair was removed. The breakouts usually occur as a result of irritation from the hair removal process. This is very common and sometimes the breakouts subside after your skin gets used to the treatment. But nonetheless, there are ways that these breakouts can be lessened or even avoided. Here, our tips on how to leave your pimple-free post hair removal treatment:
Wash your face immediately following the hair removal treatment. The esthetician or whoever performed the treatment may have had bacteria on their hands.
Apply a cortisone treatment immediately following the treatment to soothe any irritation.
Say no if the esthetician offers to apply a cream after the treatment, as you don't know what ingredients are inside of it.
Do not try to pop the little whiteheads, as more damage can be done than good. Instead, pat them with a warm compress and use an acne-fighting cleanser after your treatment.
The warm spring weather is often a signal for people to clean out their closets. Your skin care wardrobe should be no different. To ensure maximum efficacy of your products, especially where acne products are concerned, it's important to keep up to date on their shelf lives. Here, our quick guide to when you should toss your acne skin care products and how to properly store them:
Products containing salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide and sulfur usually last up to 12 months. Be sure to label your products when you buy them with the date, so you know when to toss.
Store your products in a cool, dry place. We often keep skin care products in the bathroom, but the heat and humidity may affect the product's ability to perform properly. Our advice? Keep it in the bedroom, on a shelf that's far enough above ground that children will not be able to reach it.
With most prescription acne medications, the expiration date is usually two months after opening the tube or bottle. Be sure to check with your dermatologist on this.
Many of our female patients tell us that they never had acne in their teenage years. These 20-40 year old women are often frustrated by the new onset of acne during a time when they never expected it. Dr. Schweiger explains that, "Acne commonly presents for women in their 20's and 30's. Hormonal changes, some of which are regular and some of which are the result of hormone imbalances, influence the sebaceous glands. This leads to an increase in acne lesions, particularly on the lower face and jawline."
Hormonal acne can be addressed in a variety of ways:
Topical antibacterial medications and topical retinoids reduce the p. acnes bacteria and microcomedones that progress to acne lesions
Laser and light therapy, such as photodynamic therapy and the isolaz acne treatment, can be used to reduce p. acnes bacteria, decrease sebaceous gland activity and clear out the pores
Hormonal treatments can reduce the androgen effect on the sebaceous gland oil production. Examples of hormonal treatments include oral contraceptive pills (birth control) and an androgen antagonist called spironolactone.
When 19-year-old Cassandra Bankson videoed herself with no makeup on for You Tube last year, she couldn't even bring herself to watch it for four months. Cassandra has suffered from cystic acne for many years and had spent a lot of time being taunted at school for her bad skin. But now thanks to an overwhelming response, Bankson has become an online sensation, teaching people everywhere how to successfully cover up their acne with makeup.
In this video, she talks about her five best acne-covering tips. We've broken them down for you here:
Use a green tinted concealer to cover your acne. Pimples always have a redness to them, a green concealer will cancel out the redness, allowing foundation to properly do its job and cover the acne.
Find a thick foundation with creamy, full coverage to smooth out your skin. Her favorite brands are Revlon, Make Up For Ever, Laura Mercier and Hourglass.
Use layers when applying your foundation. Apply the first layer then let it dry before applying the next layer. This will add a fuller coverage look.
Contour and highlight the face. This will bring attention to the "triangle" which is the eyes, lips and nose and not the acne.
Apply either fake eyelashes or lip gloss to detract attention away from your acne.
We know how tempting it is to pick at a pimple or want to pop it in the hopes that you will actually get rid of the offending spot. But put your hands down and step away from the mirror. Popping your pimple will only make matters much worse. So what to do when you're face with a breakout? Here, three actions to take that will do more good than harm:
Apply heat to the pimple with either a warm compress or an at-home device like the Tanda Zap or the Zeno Hot Spot Thermal Device.
Facial cleansing brushes have become an integral part of all acne regimens. The Clarisonic brushes are risen to the top, with many options to suit all skin types. The Clarisonic brushes include many options, the most popular being the Clarisonic Pro and the Clarisonic Mia. So, what is the difference between the Clarisonic Pro and the Clarisonic Mia?
Here are the facts that you need to know, in order to make an informed purchase:
Clarisonic Pro: This is the best Clarisonic brush available. It has 4 speeds, plus a body mode that can be used with a special body brush. There is 30 minute life-span after each full charge and a 3 year warranty. The Clarisonic Pro cleansing brush is sold only in dermatologist's offices.
Clarisonic Mia: This is the most compact Clarisonic brush, intended for both home use and travel. It has 1 speed and a 20 minute life-span after each full charge. There is a 1 year warranty on the Clarisonic Mia brush.
Both Clarisonic brushes are effective and an important part of the skincare regimen for patients with and without acne. The Clarisonic brushes not only clear out acne-causing oils and grime from the pores, but they improve the general appearance of the skin.
Exfoliating the skin is an important part of most skincare regimens. A good exfoliator will rid of dead skin cells on the skin's surface and help with the absorption of all your skin care products. But exfoliation is very important for those with acne-prone skin types. You see, acne prone skin actually makes more dead skin cells than normal skin types. To make matters worse, acne-prone skin has trouble shedding its dead skin cells. Those cells remain on the skin's surface and then leads to clogged pores, which becomes a blackhead or a whitehead. This is why it's essential to use an exfoliant if you have acne-prone skin.
There are two kinds of exfoliants--physical and chemical. Physical can be a scrub, microdermabrasion or another manual form of exfoliation. It's not recommended to use a physical exfoliant if you have acne, as it may cause further irritation. But you do want to use a chemical exfoliant. This is an ingredient, such as salicylic acid, chemical peels or lactic acid. These active ingredients will help loosen dead skin cells and help healthier skin to reveal itself.
At Clear Clinic, we think it's important to take any measure to reduce the chances of an acne breakout. Sometimes that means taking any extra step during the day as a preventative measure. One such tip is using a rubbing alcohol swab to disinfect anything that comes in to contact with your face. This means rubbing down your cell phone, handset, or any other device that rests against your face on a regular basis. Cell phones are host to a load of bacteria that can irritate your skin and potentially cause breakouts.
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