It always seems to happen at the worst time: Just as you're getting ready for a first date or an important performance, a big pimple appears in the middle of your face. It's huge, it's painful and it's so embarrassing. Should you lock yourself in your room until it heals?
Don't go into hiding! Dance Spirit spoke to dermatologists to get the scoop on all your most pressing acne questions—why it happens, how to prevent it and how to get rid of it.
Beat the Breakout
• Take care of your skin every day. “Using products that contain salicylic acid and glycolic acid should be part of your daily regimen,” Kleinsmith says. We love: Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash
• Immediately after a rehearsal or performance, remove oil and bacteria from your skin with wipes that contain salicylic acid. If you have a chance to wipe off between classes or routines—even if you’re planning on getting sweaty again—do it. We Love: Aveeno Clear Complexion Daily Cleansing Pads
• Always remove your makeup before bed. “Some of the main contributors to acne are blocked pores, which happen naturally in teens due to shifting hormone levels and increased oil production in the skin. But products like makeup can cause blockages, too,” Kroshinsky explains. “Wipe off your makeup each night to keep the skin open and breathing.”
Nix the Zit
• “To get rid of a swollen pimple quickly, apply ice to reduce inflammation. Then, dab on an acne-fighting cleanser that contains benzoyl peroxide to help dry the zit out quickly,” Kroshinsky says. We love: Clearasil Daily Clear Vanishing Acne Treatment Cream
• If a zit is really red, apply a hydrocortisone cream. “It will lessen the inflammation, redness and soreness of the spot,” Kleinsmith says.
Don’t pop it! Picking at your pimples can cause scarring and skin discoloration.
If you’re using wipes between numbers at a competition or performance, check the ingredients. “Make sure your wipes don’t contain benzoyl peroxide, which will bleach out the color in your costumes,” Kleinsmith says.
If you have continual breakouts and over-the-counter products aren’t helping, it’s time to see a dermatologist.