Acne Prone Skin Care : How to Take Care of the Oily Skin on the Face
How to Take Care of Your Skin While on Accutane
Acne is an embarrassing problem. If you've chosen to fight acne with Isotretinoin (commonly referred to by the brand name product Accutane), you may be in for a rough ride. The benefits are wonderful but the side effects can be discouraging. Keep your skin moisturized to combat skin dryness, and consult your dermatologist about changes in your skin quality and for recommendations on keeping your skin healthy while using Isotretinoin.
Dealing With Cracked, Itchy, or Dry Skin
Take cool, brief showers.Accutane is notorious for drying out the skin.Cool water showers will dry your face out less than hot showers and can keep the side effects at bay. Keeping the shower short likewise ensures your skin is not stripped of essential oils and does not dry out. Long showers and baths dry out your skin, so try to limit them to 5 to 10 minutes.
- If necessary, you could take one warm (not hot) shower per day.In this case, do not take any additional showers on that day.
- Pat your skin dry. Do not wipe your skin with the towel to dry it.
Use a mild or dry shampoo.Regular shampoos will leave your scalp dry and itchy. Many people report that they don’t need to shampoo at all while on Accutane, so evaluate the condition of your hair before using shampoo, then use it only as needed.
Use a mild soap.Look for soaps made with natural ingredients like olive oil, lavender, chamomile, coconut oil, peppermint, and honey. Mild soaps should not use any artificial fragrances or chemicals, and be free of antibacterial agents. You can also use a cleanser meant for sensitive skin. Read your labels and make sure soap is for sensitive skin, fragrance-free.
- Make sure to use soap as directed. To use the soap, take the bar between your hands and wet it with water. Rub the soap back and forth until suds form. Then, apply the soapy suds to your washcloth or loofah. You could also choose to apply the soap directly to your washcloth or loofah and scrub one against the other until suds form. Then, use the sudsy washcloth or loofah on the areas of your body you wish to clean.
Use a non-soap cleanser.A non-soap cleanser, used sparingly, can be an acceptable alternative to using a mild soap. Like the mild soap, any cleanser you use should be relatively free of chemicals and preservatives, and include natural oils and herbs among its main ingredients.
- Specific directions for use will depend on the non-soap cleanser you use. Most come in the form of lotions. To use lotion-type cleansers, squirt a little on the fingertips, then rub it gently into the skin of your face, arms, and hands. Work it into your pores for a few seconds. Rinse excess off with water, or wipe it away with tissue.
- There are many mild soaps and cleansers available from your local bath and beauty specialist. Find ones which works for you.
- There are also soap-free shampoos available as well.
Use a moisturizer after showering.There are many moisturizers available. Look for one which uses natural ingredients and includes a minimum of chemicals. Natural ingredients in your moisturizer might include brown sugar, macadamia nut oil, shea butter, and oatmeal.
- Read labels and make sure there is no perfume added and that the moisturizer is alcohol-free.
- Moisturizer can be applied to dry or cracked skin as needed by dabbing a bit on your fingertips and working it into the affected area with gentle, circular motions.
- Read the directions on the back of your moisturizer to use it properly.
- If you are flying, then make sure to apply a double layer of lotion before boarding the plane. The air is recirculated in planes so your skin will be more likely to dry out.
Keep the bedroom window open.If the weather allows, exposing your skin to fresh air can keep your skin from drying out and cracking. Do not open your window unless you have a screen over it or you might allow bugs or other critters in your home.
Get a humidifier.A humidifier, especially in cool or cold weather, can dramatically improve the quality of your skin. Get one for your home and smaller one for your workspace, if possible.
Drink plenty of water.It is important to keep yourself hydrated, so make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Try keeping a water bottle with you and aim to refill it a few times during the day.
Avoiding Scars While Using Accutane
Do not wax your skin.Because the skin thins during treatment, you become more likely to scar. Wax epilations (waxing) should be avoided for at least six months after completing your Isotretinoin treatment.
Do not get laser resurfacing.Both ablative and non-ablative laser resurfacing, as well as dermabrasion and other acne scar revision techniques, should be avoided while taking Accutane. During the treatment period, your skin is thinner than usual and leaves you more vulnerable to scarring.
Shave hair as needed.Try not to shave while taking Accutane. If you must remove facial or leg hair, use a safety razor and a mild shaving cream. If your skin is especially cracked or dry, use the suds of a mild soap or non-soap cleanser instead of shaving cream. Wet the area of the skin you wish to shave, then apply the lather or suds to it. Move your razor slowly across the surface of the area you wish to shave. Wash your razor and rinse your shaved body part when finished.
- Take care when shaving. Do not use straight edge razors.
- Using an electric shaver is the least damaging way to remove leg and facial hair.
Dealing With Photosensitivity
Avoid extended exposure to sunlight.If you can stay inside, do so. If you go out on sunny days, cover your arms with long sleeves. Wear pants, not shorts, to limit the amount of sunlight you’re exposed to.
Use sunscreen.Apply a sunscreen with at least SPF 30 or above to your face, neck, and hands before going out.Apply it to your body, too, if you absolutely cannot wear pants or long sleeved shirts. At the beach or pool, stay under a sun umbrella.
Treat sunburn with cool water compresses.Wet a rag or cloth under cool tap water and apply it to the burned area for ten minutes. Repeat three to four times each day or as needed. An aloe vera-based lotion can be used to relieve pain as well. If your sunburn is more serious and begins to peel, consult a dermatologist.
Avoid prolonged sun exposure and use sunblock.It is important to protect your skin from the sun when you go outside. Always apply sunblock before sun exposure.
- Also, keep in mind that Accutane may have an increased effect if used along with other drugs that cause photosensitivity. Please consult your doctor when taking other medications along with your Accutane.
Taking Care of Your Lips
Use lip balm.Cheilitis (chapped lips) is a common side effect of accutane treatment.In order to both prevent and treat chapped lips, apply a lip balm of your choice. Some have a pleasant scent like lavender or wild berry, while others are unscented.
- The most hygienic lip balms are those which come in a small retractable tube, as you don’t have to touch your hand to your lips in order to apply the balm.
- However, the balms which require you to manually remove a glob of lip balm from the container and apply it to your lips have the advantage that you can scoop any amount you desire from the container.
Use Vaseline or Aquaphor Healing Ointment.If lip balm is ineffective, use something stronger to protect your chapped lips.Vaseline or Aquaphor should be applied by dipping your pinky in the container and applying a light coating to your lips or around your mouth as needed.
Use OTC hydrocortisone ointment.For extremely dry lips, use a 1% ointment. Apply the ointment two to three times each day in addition to using Vaseline, Aquaphor, or a lip balm. You could also use a low-potency corticosteroid ointment if you obtain a prescription from your dermatologist.
- Using corticosteroid treatments for more than a few days could lead to thinning of the skin on your lips or the enlargement of blood vessels in the area you applied the ointment.
- Always use ointments and prescription medications as directed.
Do not lick your lips.While it may provide temporary relief, the enzymes in saliva can irritate your skin. The more you lick your lips, the drier and more painful they will become over time. Keep your tongue in your mouth and apply lip balm instead as needed.
- Wear a rubber band on your wrist and give it a small snap when you catch yourself licking your lips. The slight irritation of the band against your wrist will minimize your likelihood of lip-licking again.
QuestionWhat if I do not use any moisturizer while on Accutane because i don't want to touch my face?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThat is misguided. It is perfectly okay to touch your face with clean hands, especially to apply a product that will benefit your skin. Just wash your hands with soap before you use them to apply something to your face.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I prevent dry and discolored lips?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerUse a lip balm, Aquaphor, or petrolatum to protect your lips from being cracked or dry. Consult your dermatologist if you have additional concerns.Thanks!
QuestionAfter how many months will I see a difference on my skin?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf you use the right product over and over you should start seeing the difference in about a week.Thanks!
QuestionWould a natural oil like eucalyptus or jojoba be helpful to heal and keep my skin moisturized?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThey'll provide moisture, which'll help. Natural moisturizers are always best because perfumes can irritate the skin.Thanks!
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- Drink plenty of water, as Accutane will dry you out.
- Stick to a routine. The more regular your skin care regimen, the more success you'll have with it.
- When using a towel, pat dry. Do not rub your skin with the towel.
- Use clean washcloths. After use, wash in hot soapy water before reuse to prevent the spread of bacteria.
- If you wear contacts, they may become uncomfortable during Accutane use due to the drying out of your mucous membranes. A wetting solution for contact lens wearers is a good idea.
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