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Tips for Acne Flare-ups
As temperatures climb and Virginia humidity returns, many of us experience flare-ups of acne. These are triggered by heat, which increases inflammation in the skin, as well as heavy sweating and sun exposure, which can be irritating. To keep your skin happier at home, follow these tips:
Change your bed sheets at least once per week. You may want to change your pillowcase even more frequently! After several nights' sleep, oils, skin cells, pollen, make-up and product residue build up, providing an excellent breeding ground for bacteria. While sleeping on a dirty pillowcase probably isn't the only reason you are breaking out, your acne can be made worse by sleeping on linens that have seen fresher days.
Use salicylic acid or alpha hydroxy acids to exfoliate the area. Our office offers a variety of acne products such as Glytone 2% salicylic back spray, glycolic / salicylic cleansers and treatment pads. Procedures such as chemical peels, Silkpeel Microdermabrasion and Isolaz® can also be performed on the face or body to improve acne. Complimentary consultations with our estheticians are available to discuss products or treatments!
Heavy sweating and the friction of damp clothing against the skin can irritate body acne. This is especially a concern for summer athletes. To help reduce breakouts on the body, rinse off with tepid water after heavy sweating and change into dry clothes.
Avoid abrasive scrubs, washcloths, and loofahs on the trouble area. Your shower water should be warm, not hot.
Avoid applying perfume or cologne to the affected area, as fragrance can exacerbate irritation.
Occasionally, sunscreens may exacerbate a breakout. Usually, it is base ingredients that can create clogging. If you are acne-prone, avoid coconut oils, cocoates, shea butter, isopropyl palmitate, and isopropyl myristate, particularly if they are among the first ingredients listed. It is also possible for people to be sensitive to chemical sunscreens, such as octisalate and Avobenzone, which may create some warmth and redness or a slight burning sensation in the skin. This typically occurs in people who have sensitive skin. In this case, try an all-mineral sunscreen that contains only zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. These minerals work by reflecting the sun's rays rather than neutralizing them through a chemical reaction process. Zinc oxide, in particular, provides good UVA protection to protect your collagen! Renew Dermatology carries a selection of sunscreens for the face and body which all contain zinc oxide.