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.