Lay the Foundation for Healthy Skin

285 LayFoundationSkinProper skin care is the first step in successful acne and rosacea treatment.

 

 

By Diane S. Berson, MD, FAAD

Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology, Weill Cornell Medical College

 

Good skin care is a smart idea for everyone, but it is especially important for those who have acne and rosacea. Medications are available to effectively manage these chronic skin conditions, but dermatologists are finding that proper skin care enables a patient’s skin to tolerate the facial redness, dryness, or inflammation that sometimes results from medications. Dermatologists are assisting patients by recommending skin care products that keep the skin hydrated to improve the overall health and appearance of the skin, resulting in the likelihood that patients will follow their treatment to its end.

Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize

Keeping the skin properly hydrated is the key to successful acne therapy, and the daily use of a moisturizer has been shown to increase the skin’s ability to tolerate medications that often cause irritation. It is a common myth that patients with acne should not use moisturizers—and that is simply not true. If patients do not use a daily moisturizer, their skin can become red and peel easily due to the drying effect of acne medications. Patients of all skin types can benefit from using a daily moisturizer.

People with acne should use a light, oil-free moisturizer that is noncomedogenic (won’t clog pores).

Moisturizers containing ceramides, a type of lipid that helps improve skin barrier function and adds moisture to the skin, are good choices for acne patients and those with sensitive skin or rosacea.

Avoid moisturizers containing mineral oils and petrolatum, which may feel too heavy on acne-prone skin.                                                 Alternately, products containing silicone oils, such as dimethicone, are good choices.

 

Cleansers Provide a Clean Start and Finish

Those with skin prone to acne and rosacea should use gentle cleanser twice a day and should take note of the following do’s and don’ts.

Do use a gentle cleanser to decrease inflammation and remove surface oil and dirt without compromising the skin’s barrier function.

Do look for a cleanser with salicylic acid to help remove excess oil and unclog pores.

Do rinse thoroughly because the residue can cause irritation.

Don’t scrub the skin—it can actually worsen acne by removing skin lipids and increasing irritation.

Don’t irritate the skin with harsh cleansers, like scrubs with a grainy texture, alkaline bar soaps, and alcohol-based products.

 

Cosmetics Help Put Your Best Face Forward

Cosmetics can be used to help camouflage redness and pimples common with acne and rosacea, but they also can give patients a quality-of-life boost, making them feel less self-conscious about their appearance. Often if patients are instructed not to use cosmetics during treatment for acne or rosacea, they won’t comply with treatment.
Cosmetic companies are continually improving their formulations by making cosmetics that are noncomedogenic and will not exacerbate acne or rosacea. When purchasing cosmetics for skin prone to acne or rosacea, heed the following guidelines.

To absorb oil, camouflage redness, and prevent irritation, look for mineral-based cosmetics that contain                                     powdered formulas of silica, titanium dioxide, and zinc oxide.

To absorb oil and provide a smooth, shine-free appearance, look for matte cosmetics containing dimethicone.

To reduce irritation, some cosmeceuticals now include anti-inflammatory ingredients, such as niacinamide for barrier repair, and antioxidants.

Keep Sun Protection Top of Mind

To reduce the number of products used on the skin, patients should look for cosmetics containing sunscreen, which can provide skin with an extra layer of sun protection in a smooth, cosmetically appealing formulation. This is especially important during the first weeks of acne treatment, when some acne medications can increase sensitivity to the sun. In addition, sun exposure is a known trigger of rosacea, making it important for patients to minimize sun exposure.  _

 

About the American Academy of Dermatology
Headquartered in Schaumburg, Illinois, the American Academy of Dermatology, founded in 1938, is the largest, most influential, and most representative of all dermatologic associations. With a membership of more than 17,000 physicians worldwide, the academy is committed to advancing the diagnosis and the medical, surgical, and cosmetic treatment of the skin, hair, and nails; advocating high standards in clinical practice, education, and research in dermatology; and supporting and enhancing patient care for a lifetime of healthier skin, hair, and nails. For more information contact the academy at (888)462-DERM [3376] or visit aad.org. Follow the academy on Facebook (American Academy
of Dermatology) and Twitter 

(@AADskin).