If you have acne you may have been in this situation many times. Your face suddenly takes a turn for the worse. It looks red, feels inflamed and feels like it is on fire. Normal activities like washing your face, brushing your teeth and going out suddenly become these huge hurdles, you just can’t get past. Your face actually hurts because the acne are deep within the skin and cause pain. Even sleeping becomes a problem as the rubbing can cause further irritation.
So what do you do when you have a cystic acne flare up?
1. No applying products and hands off your face
Yes, you read that right. No applying any products or any ointment. I’ve been down this road more often than I wanted to and I know that nothing works. Nothing you apply to your face at this point is going to help you. Also no touching to feel your face. It’s a common temptation when you have acne, to touch your acne to see how big they are. This does not help and only irritates your skin further.
2. No makeup
As tempting as it might be to try and cover up, all you will be doing is irritating your skin even further. It will be worse when you have to wash it off and irritate your face all over again. Makeup at this point is just not worth it. You probably will not be able to cover it up. Plus your skin does not need an added irritant at this time. If you do use makeup not only will you irritate your skin applying it, you will irritate it much more when taking it off.
3. Take a Vitamin C supplement
You need to stimulate your immune system to fight this. The best way is to take a Vitamin C supplement. You can try to increase your intake of it through diet but for your skin to calm down you need a much larger dose, more than you can eat in a day. 1000 mg a day will be fine.
4. Have a Green smoothie or eat lots of green vegetables
The best foods for acne are vegetables. More specifically green leafy vegetables which is the best food you can eat when your skin is acting up. Drink it in the form of a smoothie or add them to your diet, any way is perfectly fine. Green leafy vegetables include spinach, fenugreek leaves (methi), broccoli, kale, cabbage, swiss chard, lettuce, watercress, mustard greens.
5. Drink a lot of water
There is a myth out there that drinking water will get rid of your acne by flushing toxins. I have no idea what these toxins are and I also know that drinking water will not cure acne. But what drinking water does is keep your skin hydrated and bring down the redness on your face.
6. No stimulants
Till your skin settles down avoid alcohol and extremely spicy foods. I am not going to ask you to cut out tea and coffee completely but do restrict the amount you drink to 2-3 cups a day.
7. Skip sugar and dairy for a few days.
Sugar and dairy tend to cause inflammation in some people. Cut them out of your diet for a few days till your face settles down. Little milk and sugar in your tea or coffee is fine but no more than that.
8. Calm your skin with cold water
Your face may feel hot and irritated. Splash cold water on your face whenever needed. Avoid excessive heat and hot showers till your skin settles down. Avoid drying your face and let it dry naturally.
9. Relax and Remember that your skin will Heal
Acne does tend to make us lose perspective of things and we feel really down and depressed. With a few changes your skin can heal properly. When you have acne you feel that life is unfair to you. This is completely normal. While completely understandable you do not have to give in to these feelings. Try and find something that makes you happy and do that. Give meditation a try. It can be beneficial for your life in general.