There’s nobody out there – man, woman or adolescent – who likes having acne. Acne often shows up as pimples that are big, throbbing, painful and full of pus and not to mention the scars they leave behind. A study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in 2011 explains that apart from hormonal imbalances during adolescence, similar endocrinological changes during adulthood (especially for women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), uterine fibroids and other similar disorders), other dermatological problems and severe medications can also cause acne.
But no matter what your age is, there are a few things you should never, ever do to any type of pimples. Doing any of these can not only make the acne worse but also leave long-term scars, cause infections and affect your long-term skin health. So, if you have pimples caused by acne, avoid doing the following things:
- Popping or picking
Gently squeezing a pimple to make it pop can give you a sense of relief, but most people end up hurting themselves or making acne worse by using unsafe methods. Even touching, poking or picking on a pimple – whether it’s fresh or healing – can delay the healing process and leave scars.
- Applying hot compress
You might assume that applying a hot compress around the pimple can relieve the pain and heal it faster, but it doesn’t work that way. In fact, heat can irritate the area and make it hurt more and heal more slowly.
- Using dirty makeup brushes
Makeup brushes that are not cleaned regularly are likely to accumulate harmful bacteria and transfer them to your skin. This can not only cause breakouts but also make it worse.
- Forgetting to wash makeup off
If you often use makeup to cover up your acne and forget to take it off, chances are your breakouts will take more time to heal. Makeup clogs the pores of your skin, so cleaning it off as soon as possible is important, even for acne-free skin.
This might sound counterintuitive, however, overwashing can make your skin excessively dry which promotes excess sebum (natural oil) production – which, in turn, causes breakouts.
- Sleeping on dirty linen
You might clean and moisturise your face, or follow a proper ritual before going to bed, but if your pillow covers, sheets and blankets are dirty, your skin will be irritated. Bacteria from stale sheets can transfer to your skin and worsen your acne.
- Not cleaning your phone
While you might be conscious about everything you put on your face, you might forget about sanitizing your phone. But it comes in close contact with your face, and any bacteria from the screen can easily transfer to your face and make acne worse. Wipe down your phone screen regularly to avoid this.