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Acne care. PART TWO. What are products you should use or avoid?

Posted: November 16, 2016 > Face > Featured Post > products > scars & scar care > Skin / Nonsurgical > Blog Home

laurengreenbergacneproductsAgain, I am not a dermatologist. See my prior blog on acne for basic tips. Irritation is bad. You do not want to scrub, use harsh treatments, or poke and pop your skin. This leads to worse acne and can cause the things which bring people into my plastic surgery office – mainly pigment and scarring issues.

Basic first line product for acne is benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. Benzoyl peroxide is found over the counter in different strengths. You want to avoid irritation to the skin, so more is not better. Start with the lowest strength, 2.5%. Use the product for a few weeks to give it time to work before changing the regimen. Benzoyl peroxide works by adding oxygen into the pore, and the bacteria responsible for acne, Propionbacteria acnes, don’t live in an aerobic environment. When the bacteria numbers are lower, the number of breakouts reduces.

  • Apply a thin layer over the cleaned and dried skin once or twice daily.
  • Apply all over the face, do not “spot treat”
  • It may bleach hair, towels or clothing.

IF acne persists after benzoyl peroxide, you can try other medications under the supervision of a dermatologist.  These include:

  • Retinoids (like retinol or Retin A)
  • Topical Antibiotics (Like erythromycin or clindamycin)  Applied on the skin.
  • Oral antibiotics
  • Accutane (last resort, for cystic acne)
  • Birth control pills (can be helpful for women to control hormones)

AVOID harsh cleansers, alcohol based products, alkaline soaps. Also avoid certain ingredients which may clog pores

  • isopropyl palmitate, isopropyl myristate, butyl stearate, isopropyl isostearate, decyl oleate, isostearyl neopentanoate, isocetyl stearate, myristle myristate
  • cocoa butter
  • acetylated lanolin
  • D & C red dyes.
  • Oil

LOOK FOR “noncomedogenic” and products for “acne prone skin.”

There are treatments which I can do to try to help with issues resulting from acne. These involve topical things like skin bleachers (hydroquinone) or Retin A, to more invasive treatments like skin resurfacing by chemical peels like the Blue Peel, to surgeries like microfat and nanofat fat transfer surgeries, where I release scars and try to encourage the stem cells to improve the skin. But the best treatment by far? PREVENTION. Be kind, consistent, and gentle to your skin.  If that does not work, seek help from a professional dermatologist.


Please keep in mind: subjects covered in this blog and certain tips and advice are not substitutes for professional medical advice. This blog is for general informational purposes only. If you are considering plastic surgery, reconstructive surgery, or cosmetic enhancement, you should always consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon and/or your general practitioner in-person for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment.

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