Redness & Acne
Acne is more than just a facial blemish, and when it accompanies redness, it can make your face feel like it stands out negatively in a crowd. It's easy for a third person to say "it's just a zit," but if you are experiencing acne and redness, these skin problems can cause anxiety and social isolation.
Contrary to popular belief, there is no connection between a person's diet and whether or not she has acne. Chocolate, grease and salt are often blamed for breakouts, but there is no proof that any of these foods cause acne. Clogged pores are the cause of acne, which consists of blackheads, whiteheads, pimples and cysts.
Sebum is the skin oil that clogs the pores, thus causing acne. During times when hormones peak, the production of sebum is at its highest. This is why people experience the most breakouts in their teenage years.
Acne and redness often go hand-in-hand. Redness in acne happens when an area becomes inflamed and appears red and swollen. Inflammation of a pimple is caused by P. acnes bacteria that multiplies in a clogged pore. Inflammation can happen when you squeeze or pick at your acne.
Another culprit of redness is rosacea, which accompanied by acne is called papulopustular rosacea or acne rosacea. If your mid-face has visible blood vessels and intermediate or consistent flushing along with acne, then acne rosacea is a possibility.
To prevent breakouts, wash your face twice per day with a gentle facial cleanser and use products that are oil-free. Avoid products with alcohol, because alcohol dries your skin and causes more oil to be produced in your sebaceous glands. In addition, avoid touching your face other than cleansing and applying treatments.
When trying to prevent acne and redness, it's necessary to know what's causing your redness during acne breakouts. If it's inflammation, resist the urge to pick and pop acne, since it has no benefits. If you pick, pop or squeeze, your acne will become red, take longer to heal, and, if you wear makeup, it will be more difficult to cover.
If the redness on your face is not directly on or around pimples, find what in your life causes your face to become flushed and avoid it when possible. There's a long list of culprits that trigger flushing of the skin, including allergies, hives, sunlight, menopause and spicy foods.
To treat acne, choose a cleanser and topical ointment that contains salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. If you are prone to redness, choose acne products that are targeted toward sensitive skin to minimize redness. When you begin an acne regimen, you may notice your face gets flaky and dry, but as your skin adjusts to the new product, this should stop within a few weeks.
If you need immediate results from a red pimple, place ice on the inflamed area to reduce the swelling, which helps with the inflammation. Ice can also reduce pain from an inflamed zit.
Seeing a Dermatologist
Most acne products take four to 12 weeks to work, so don't give up too soon. If after 12 weeks you do not see improvement in your skin, it's time to see a dermatologist for a consultation and treatment regimen. The dermatologist may decide that you need stronger treatment, such as tretinoin or antibiotics.
If you think your redness is caused by rosacea, tell the dermatologist. If it is rosacea, you will most likely be prescribed a topical or oral medication. In the case of acne rosacea, a dermatologist will be able to treat everything all at once.
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