Posts for tag: treatment options

By Mariah Lefforge, PA-C
March 07, 2016

Many topical acne treatments have the potential to be drying to the skin.  Add in dry, cold winter weather and sometimes the regimen you were using in warmer weather is suddenly causing your skin to be red and dry.  The following guidelines are recommended year-round for acne treatments, but are especially important during these winter months to keep your acne treatment on track without causing irritation.

  1.  WAIT –Wait at least 30 minutes after washing your face before applying your medication

            When there is increased moisture in the skin, the amount of product absorbed by your skin increases.  In the case of some treatments (such as those used for rashes) this helps the medication work better.  However, in the case of many acne medications, this increases the likelihood that you will experience irritation.  Also considering swapping your face wash in winter months . If you have sensitive skin, a gentle skin cleanser such as cetaphil or cerave will get your skin clean while minimizing irritation. 

  1. APPLY – Apply a very thin layer of medication to the affected area.

 More is not better –in fact, too much product will be more irritating and could delay improvement.  For the entire face, you should use no more than a pea-sized amount of product, taking care to avoid the eye area and folds around the nose and mouth.

  1. MOISTURIZE- If you are experiencing dryness, use a lightweight moisturizer .

Even acne prone skin sometimes needs help in the moisture department.  A moisturizer that is formulated not to clog pores can really help keep your skin in good condition while treating acne.  Look for moisturizers that state “non-comedogenic”  or “non-acnegenic.”  Cerave and Cetaphil are two brands that make lotions that would be excellent for acne-prone skin.   In some cases, applying a moisturizer before applying the topical will help make an acne medication more tolerable, others find it more helpful to apply after applying the medication or use the following morning.

  1. MODIFY-  If your regimen is too drying to use daily, modify how you are applying your treatments

If you are getting too dry, it is best to hold on your acne topical and use a moisturizer only until the irritation resolves.  When you resume treatment, try modifying how often you are using the medication.  Start with every other day, or treat for 2 days and hold for one day to see if this is better tolerated.  As stated above, sometimes applying a moisturizer first will also help make a product more tolerable during dry, cold weather.  Some products can be used as short contact therapy (also called “SCT”) where the product is used as a mask – apply to clean skin, leave on for 5-10 minutes, rinse with warm water and then apply a moisturizer.  Short contact therapy provides a way to deliver a small amount of medication to the skin. 

  1. CALL – Most importantly, if you are experiencing an adverse reaction to your treatment, give us a call. 

At DermacenterMD,  we want your treatment to help your acne, not cause another problem for your skin.  If you are experiencing an adverse reaction, we will work with you to help you figure out what modifications can be made to make your regimen work.