Five ways you can tackle an outbreak of acne this summer

Acne can be embarrassing, especially in the summer months.
Acne can be embarrassing, especially in the summer months.

Are you suffering from acne? Don't worry, you’re not alone. It’s a common condition and can vary from mild to severe.

Acne most commonly affects the skin on the face, back and/or chest.

For many people with acne, these symptoms can be embarrassing and impact on your self-esteem, especially in the summer months.

But there are a number of skin care tips you can try to prevent new spots and scarring. Here are a few of them:

1. Cut down on frequent washing

Sometimes it is best to minimise the amount you wash the affected area – otherwise you may risk making symptoms worse. Wash no more than twice a day with a gentle cleanser and lukewarm water.

2. Don’t pick or squeeze spots

Resist the temptation to ‘clean out’ blackheads or squeeze spots. This can actually aggravate them and lead to permanent scarring.

3. Avoid wearing lots of make-up

Make-up and cosmetics can block the pores of your skin and irritate your acne, so opt for oil-free or water-based products labelled ‘non-comedogenic.’

You should also completely remove your make-up before going to bed.

4. Exercise regularly

While working out frequently doesn’t improve your acne, it can release feel-good chemicals called endorphins that may boost your mood and help with self-esteem.

However, excessive sweating can aggravate acne, so be sure to shower after exercising.

5. Take action as soon as possible

Tackle your acne at the first signs of it showing. Though the skin condition cannot be ‘cured’, there are many ways to treat it.

Over-the-counter treatments are a good place to start, but if you are still finding your acne troublesome there are medicines that can be either taken orally or applied directly to the skin.

Prescription strength creams, lotions and gels are available at your local or online pharmacy.

As well as these home remedies, the best course of action for your acne is to arrange a quick and easy consultation with your GP or online doctor.

* Dr. Alexandra Phelan is a GP with the NHS and Pharmacy2U, an online service which provides free, fast and convenient delivery of NHS repeat prescriptions.