Only those suffering from cystic acne will understand how even a small, occasional spot can cause our nerves to go on edge.
In addition to being irritating and sometimes painful, the psychological impact of having acne is far more complicated than what is seen on the surface.
If you are currently undergoing an acne scar treatment – you should know that what happens after you go home, as well as what you do on a daily basis is just, if not more important than the treatment itself. Incorporating a highly-personalized, proper skincare regime is the road to healthier, clearer skin in the long term.
So, how do you achieve this? Here are 9 do’s and don’ts to supplement your treatment that will serve you well in controlling and treating your acne!
#1: DO treat your skin early.
In most cases, severe acne issues could have easily been avoided if patients had sought out treatment early.
As every individual’s skin type and condition is different, not every solution recommended on the internet, or from trusted friends and family will work for you. For harder to treat cystic acne, it is even more pertinent that you seek treatment as soon as you notice symptoms in order to prevent scarring and worsening of your condition.
Which brings us to our next point.
#2: DON’T D.I.Y. or self-diagnose.
While it may seem easier and more cost-effective to try and treat your acne at home – chances are you will see little or only temporary results.
A useful rule of thumb is that it usually takes about 12 weeks to see results with any type of acne treatment. If you aren’t seeing any results during or after this crucial time period – it may be time to see a doctor for a more tailored approach.
In fact, cystic acne and acne scar treatments require a much more robust approach – instead of self-diagnosing and having to test which solution works best for you, our clinic offers a variety of topical treatments, pore treatments, skincare and facials, as well as lasers (e.g. INFINI, Pico & Secret RF) to provide a more holistic solution to treat your acne.
#3: DO keep your skincare routine simple.
Simplicity is key to controlling and treating acne. Since acne is most often a hormonal issue that is triggered by excessive oil and bacteria – taking measures to keep the surface of your skin clean will go a long way in preventing breakouts.
Using too many skincare products may actually be counterintuitive – and so is switching up your skincare routine too often, which can backfire into a full-blown breakout! The truth is that many over-the-counter treatments simply aren’t designed to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin where cystic acne occurs.
As tempting it may be to try the latest acne products – the best way is to first consult a doctor to check if it’s advisable to do so. A cleanser, toner, moisturizer, spot treatment and sunscreen is all you really need to keep acne at bay when supplemented with the appropriate acne scar treatment.
#4: DON’T forget to moisturize!
Notice that we included moisturizer into the list of products to have in your skincare regime?
Reason being – it is a common misconception that you shouldn’t moisturize acne-prone skin. However, it is important to moisturize daily as our skin needs moisture – even oily ones. Otherwise, your skin will work hard to produce even more oil in order to compensate, which can work against you to cause more acne.
This is why consulting a qualified doctor will greatly help you in choosing the right arsenal of products to possess in your bathroom.
#5: DON’T over-exfoliate.
Exfoliating scrubs are great for cleansing and getting rid of dead skin, but they often are too irritating for inflamed, acne-prone skin – causing tiny tears, spreading bacteria and increasing sebum production.
Not to worry, there are gentle chemical exfoliators that offer the same benefits as scrubs and promote cell regeneration – look for non-abrasive products containing lactic acid, or low concentrations of salicylic acid (0.5% – 2%), using it just once or twice every week.
#6: DO address spots first and scars later.
A major step in managing acne scarring is always to first treat the root cause of the problem – getting your spots firmly under control is much more efficient in treating cystic acne, especially since it is this type of acne that has the highest probability of leaving permanent scars.
At The Clifford Clinic, we use a 4-step process to effectively treat our patients’ acne, including facial treatments, laser treatments, selective follicle treatment and a range of topical and oral therapy to maintain results in the long run.
#7: DON’T squeeze or pick at your pimples!
It’s hard to resist the urge to pop or pick at your pimples – but that will mean longer healing times, increased risks of infection and unsightly scarring.
Acne scarring occurs at a much deeper level of the skin, so simply picking it is not going to do much in managing your condition – remember that scars are the result of the healing process, so don’t interrupt it by opening up the wound again!
#8: DO tell your doctor about the medications that you are currently taking.
During your initial consultation with our doctors, be sure to talk about the type of medications you are currently taking.
While not often the main cause, certain oral medications may be causing your cystic acne flare-ups, including corticosteroids.
In that case, our doctor will then be able to further advise and recommend the best acne scar treatment for you. With over a decade of experience successfully treating patients with “impossible” acne conditions – we have been evolving our techniques to become far more effective, with as little downtime as possible.
#9: DON’T stress over acne!
There is no doubt that acne can be extremely upsetting to those suffering from it.
However, it is important to NOT stress over your condition – cystic acne is often caused by hormonal imbalances, which are greatly magnified whenever we feel stressed and cortisol levels rise.
While it can be hard not to feel anxious and overwhelmed during your acne scar treatment, it is important to stay positive and maintain a strong sense of well-being to help your skin heal!
Especially if you are under the care of our doctors at The Clifford Clinic, you can be sure we will do our best to get you on track to clear, acne-free skin – so, don’t give up just yet!