How to Stop Touching Acne
If you find yourself touching your acne, you are introducing more dirt and bacteria that will likely exacerbate the problem. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, "picking, scratching, popping, and squeezing tend to make acne worse and can cause scars." At first, squeezing and picking may seem to make your face look better, but it can become a habit that prolongs outbreaks and causes new blemishes.
Observe the times when you touch your face or pick at pimples. You may be touching your face more often than you think by resting your face on your hand, rubbing your chin or forehead or talking on the phone. Other times, you may feel a compulsive need to pick sores and squeeze pimples. Keep a private journal with the times you realize you are touching your acne both subconsciously and compulsively. Look for patterns and situations that seem to trigger the behavior.
Find a different behavior or activity to replace touching your face. Instead of propping your face on your hand, try holding your hands together and resting forward on your elbows. Avoid walking around with your phone cradled between your shoulder and face. Try using a blue-tooth device or talking on speaker phone. When you feel the urge to pick at your face, use a competing response such as clenching your fist, squeezing your fingers together or stepping away from the mirror until the desire to pick passes.
Clip your fingernails short. Without long, sharp nails, it will be more difficult for you to pick scabs and squeeze pimples.
Practice good facial hygiene. Wash your face every morning and evening, and use an astringent to absorb excess oil. Make sure all facial products you use are designed for your skin type, and avoid products that contain oil. When you start to touch your acne, remember how you took the time to care for your skin and that touching your face will introduce oil, bacteria and dirt that you worked so hard to remove.
See a dermatologist if your acne is persistent. There are prescription medications and treatments that can help clear up your acne.
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