Health Watch — Great Skin: Acne

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

You want to put your best face forward, so this week on Health Watch, we’ll talk about your skin and how to keep it looking and feeling great. For teens, the big skin issue is acne. Doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center have one surprising piece of advice for acne sufferers: don’t wash your face too often.

Dr. Erin Welch, a UT Southwestern dermatologist, says acne isn’t caused by dirt, so frequent washing won’t help, and scrubbing may irritate your skin to make acne even worse. You should wash no more than twice a day using a medicated face wash containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Products containing these ingredients are available over the counter. A dermatologist can prescribe more powerful treatments for acne that doesn’t clear up. You also shouldn’t squeeze or pop pimples. That may cause inflammation or leave scars.


March 2007

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