Acne expert Dr. Eric Schweiger explains that, “Treating acne if you have sensitive skin can sometimes be challenging. Even over-the-counter acne treatments can cause excessive dryness and irritation to the skin, making the treatment of acne at home a difficult task. All patients with acne should visit a dermatologist for prompt treatment of their acne, but patients with sensitive skin will particularly benefit from discussing non-irritating acne treatment options with their dermatologist.”
Here are our tips on how to treat acne if you have sensitive skin:
- Use prescription acne medications sparingly – It is important for patients with even the most sensitive skin not to avoid using topical medications. Topical acne medications can be very effective and, when used properly, nearly all patients can tolerate their use. We recommend using only a pea-size amount of all topical medications for the face. After applying the medication, a thin layer of moisturizer should be applied on top. Additionally, when a new medication is introduced, we recommend using it only three times a week (rather than every day), and increasing the frequency of use as tolerated.
- Think about laser and light-based acne treatments – Laser and light-based acne treatments can produce a dramatic improvement in acne, without causing irritation to sensitive skin. Treatments such as the Isolaz acne laser and Red & Blue light therapy are effective acne treatments that are appropriate for patients with very sensitive skin.
- At-home devices can help – At-home devices, such as the Clarisonic brush and the Tria Blue Light, can be used to cleanse the skin and kill acne-causing bacteria without causing irritation to sensitive skin.