Zapping the Zits

It’s the night of your big date or the day of your wed­ding. You’re excited, you’re ner­vous, and you’re a lit­tle stressed. As you give your­self that last look over, you see it sprout­ing from your fore­head like Mount Vesu­vius: a pim­ple. Where did it come from? Why is it here? Can it feel pain? Can it be rea­soned with? Why is this hap­pen­ing now?

Okay, breathe. That’s just a night­mare sit­u­a­tion that doesn’t have to hap­pen. There is plenty you can do to get rid of acne you have or to stop it before it even starts. Here are a few ideas on how to stop zits before they even start.

  • Wash your face daily. Be gen­tle, and don’t scrub too hard. Also, use warm water, not hot water. Warm water will open your pores bet­ter than cold, but it won’t burn your skin like hot water may.
  • Avoid activ­i­ties that make you sweat heav­ily. Sweat can lead to stuff that clogs your pores. If you par­tic­i­pate in stren­u­ous activ­ity, make sure to wash soon after.
  • If you have oily hair, wash it on a reg­u­lar basis. Keep it pulled back out of your face.
  • Refrain from using hair prod­ucts like gels, mousses, and pomades that con­tain a large quan­tity of oil.
  • Keep your hands away from your face. Your hands can spread pimple-causing oils and bac­te­ria to your face.
  • Cut back on the stress. Hor­mones released dur­ing stress can cause your skin to pro­duce excess oil.
  • Mois­tur­ize. Wash­ing your face can strip away oils and mois­ture essen­tial to healthy skin. Replace them by mois­tur­iz­ing regularly.
  • Eat a healthy, bal­anced diet. Stay away from greasy, fried foods. And drink plenty of water.

If you’re already bat­tling acne, there are some options that may help you get the upper hand. Med­ica­tions con­tain­ing ben­zoyl per­ox­ide are the most widely used to treat acne. It kills bacteria-caused pim­ples and helps remove excess oils and dead skin cells that can clog pores. Saly­cilic acid and sul­fur are also used to treat acne. You may want to con­sult a der­ma­tol­o­gist to help you decide which option is right for you. One thing you shouldn’t do is pop, pick at, or squeeze your acne lesions. This can lead to scar­ring down the road.