After consulting with your dermatologist, you’ll begin a customized acne skin care regimen. With continued use, you should begin to notice marked improvement in the frequency and severity of your breakouts. However, acne can cause other skin issues to arise, and over time you may notice changes such as peeling, dryness, dark spots and large pores.
Dryness and peeling
In general, non-prescription acne skin care treatments include one or more of three active ingredients: salicylic acid, glycolic acid and benzoyl peroxide. These ingredients help combat acne-causing bacteria, and in doing so, they may prove irritating to sensitive skin. Most skin types tolerate at least one of these highly effective ingredients, but if you experience inflammation and peeling, you may need to ask your dermatologist about adjusting the strength of the products in your regimen. As another option, you can ask about balancing your regimen with milder products on alternating days.
If your skin often feels tight, your acne care cleanser may be the culprit. Acne cleansers often contain salicylic acid, glycolic acid or benzoyl peroxide in addition to oil-lifting agents. As acne begins to improve, the combination of acne-fighting ingredients and deep-cleansers may strip the skin of the moisture it needs to stay balanced. Products like Glyderm Gentle Face Cleanser 0.2%, which contains just 0.2% glycolic acid, are a great option for those who struggle with uncomfortable dryness. A lightweight, non-greasy moisturizer like Obagi CLENZIderm MD Therapeutic Moisturizer can also help soothe your complexion.
Post-Inflammatory hyperpigmentation and scarring
Once acne blemishes have healed, you may notice that small dark spots have appeared in their wake. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation spots are not considered true scars because they fade over time. It can take months or even years for PIH spots to go away, but products that contain hydroquinone or arbutin may help expedite the process. Ask your physician about a regimen that includes hydroquinone, like the Obagi Nu-Derm Transformation System. You can also inquire about regimens like the Obagi Nu-Derm Fx Starter System that contain the less potent lightening agent, arbutin.
True scarring in the form of raised lumps or depressions in the skin can follow acne as well. Your dermatologist will help you determine the best course of action for addressing acne scarring.
The majority of patients struggle with acne that is caused by excess oil production. Normally, our pores can accommodate the amount of oil they produce and oil can easily flow out and spread over the skin. However, if glands make too much oil, the substance can mix with dead skin cells, makeup and other debris to form a clog. This then causes pores to enlarge.
Because pores are not muscles, they cannot be made to shrink. For this reason, enlarged pores can be difficult to address, but controlling oil production may be key to keeping them under control. Choose a toner for oily skin like SkinMedica Purifying Toner. Salicylic acid gently exfoliates to help refine and rejuvenate clogged pores.
Do you have a question about skin issues caused by acne? Let us know in the comments section.