Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acner.org: Acne treatment

The SPF for Acne

The SPF for Acne The SPF for Acne

Overview

There are probably as many myths about the treatment of acne as there are legitimate treatments. One common myth about treatment is exposing your acne to the sun. This is an important subject because in reality, the sun could make your acne worse. There are numerous ways to protect yourself from the sun, but using a sunscreen of 30 SPF is recommended.

What is SPF?

SPF, or sun protection factor, is the degree to which a sunscreen protects the skin from the direct rays of the sun. In other words, the higher the SPF number on sunscreen, the more protection you have, or the longer you can stay in the sun without burning. The American Academy of Dermatologists recommends that people use a broad-spectrum product offering both UVA and UVB protection. It should be a water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or greater year-round for all skin types. This not only helps to protect against sunburn, but will reduce skin wrinkles and skin cancer.

The Sun's Effect on Acne

Some acne medications, including retinoic acid and antibiotics, make the skin more sensitive to sunlight. Your skin will burn easily if you are on these medications. It is recommended that you wear sunscreen of 30 SPF and stay in the shade while using them. You will also increase your risk of skin cancer and early aging of the skin if you are exposed to too much sun.

The Fake "Cover-Up"

A suntan can temporarily "cover up" your acne, or make it appear less severe. Teenagers, who are usually more prone to acne, may look for anything that appears to work, including a suntan or use of a tanning bed. Not only will this damage your skin, it could also make any acne scars worse, or take them longer to heal.

What You Should Know about Sunscreen

Sunscreen can contain fragrances that could irritate skin. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, added fragrances in cosmetics, creams, and lotions are the most common cause of skin problems. You should choose products marked "fragrance-free" or "without perfume" to avoid this problem. Added preservatives are another common problem, as they could cause the skin to become irritated and infected. Choose "non-comedogenic" products, as these will not clog your pores. Do not use any sunscreen past its expiration date, as the product could become less effective.

Check with Your Dermatologist

As with any medication, some over-the-counter products may not work for various reasons. Test a small dab first on the back of your hand to see if you are allergic to the product. If you develop a rash or itching, stop using it. Always check with your dermatologist if you have questions or concerns about a product you are using. As all acne conditions are different, so are individual skin types.

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