By Courtney Snyder-Stene, PA
I know how frustrating it can be to have acne prone skin. Luckily, there are pretty effective products out on the market to help battle those blemishes. The most important thing to realize about acne is that it is often multi factorial. No one product is going to work for everyone, and often it takes more than one product to solve the problem. Here are some of my over the counter “go-to’s” and tips when it comes to acne treatment.
• Differin/Adapalene: This product used to be prescription only but is now over the counter. It is instrumental in treating acne because it exfoliates and cleans out those pores. And keeps them clean!
Don’t spot treat. Use a pea sized amount on your entire face after cleansing (it will help prevent new pimples.)
• Benzoyl Peroxide: You’ve seen it before at the drug store, but combine this with Differin and it will give it extra umph! I like Neutrogena clear pore creamy wash/mask, but any benzoyl peroxide will do. Some are stronger than others, but often the stronger ones are more irritating,
so be aware of that.
Panoxyl is a 10% benzoyl peroxide wash that is wonderful for acne on the chest or back.
• Sulfur spot treatments are great for those zits that you can feel coming up that you want to stop before they turn into what seems like a mountain on your face. I like Mario Badescu’s drying lotion.
• If you need a break from the benzoyl peroxide because it is drying your skin out, try alternating with CeraVe hydrating cleanser.
• Make sure your makeup is not clogging your pores. Your makeup should say “oil free” or
• You also want to make sure that if you are wearing makeup, you are getting it off before bed.
Sometimes it takes an extra cleanse before washing with benzoyl peroxide. Also, Philosophy Purity is a great cleanser that melts away your makeup without totally stripping your skin of the natural oils. I hate that “tight, dry” feeling after cleansing that some products give you.
• Don’t forget to wear sunscreen with SPF 30 or above because Differin makes you more sensitive to the sun. I like Skin Medica Essential Defense, Skin Medica Total Defense and Repair, or CeraVe AM moisturizer. These products nourish the skin and help protect it from damaging rays.
• If you notice any scarring—don’t wait! Get in to see your primary care provider (PCP) or Dermatology provider ASAP to minimize long term skin changes.
Remember, there are a myriad of products out there to try, so don’t get discouraged if something doesn’t work for you. It may take a prescription medication to do the trick, so see your PCP or dermatology provider if over the counter products aren’t working for you.
Courtney Snyder-Stene, PA
Courtney graduated from Wichita State University in 2016 as a Certified Physician Assistant, during which she completed a rotation with KMC. Following her graduation, Courtney then completed a
one-year dermatology fellowship with KMC and is now seeing patients in Leawood and Shawnee.
Courtney has an excellent bedside manner with genuine passion for her patients. You will be sure to enjoy her welcoming smile and exuberance. Schedule an appointment to see her for your dermatology needs.
Shawnee: 6333 Long Ave. Ste. 360
Leawood: 11301 Nall Ave. Ste. 205
Overland Park: 12850 Metcalf Ave. Ste. 210
Legends: 10940 Parallel Pkwy. Ste. M
with locations in Topeka, Lawrence, and Manhattan