A question from Turkey regarding acne in the setting of dry skin.

Hello Dr. Irwin, This is Burcu from Turkey. I would like to have your opinion about my skin. My skin problem is blackheads and sometimes when they fill they become acne. I am 29 years old. I always had blackheads but since last 4 months acne problems occured especially under my chin without white heads. Also because of blackheads my skin is oily but it is so dehydrated everywhere on my skin. Which skin type and which products are suitable for me? I'll be so glad if you reply. Thanks in advance. Burcu

I’m glad you wrote because not everyone who has acne has the classic extremely oily skin.  Some have combination (dryer in some areas and oilier in others) and some have dry skin plus acne. This the most difficult situation because most acne medications are formulated for oily skin and are drying.

Learn more about acne.

Since you are in Turkey, you may need to experiment a bit to find the correct regimen for you but I’ll give you some ideas to get your started.

  • Use gentle cleansers. The acne cleansers will dry you and be too harsh.
  • After cleansing in the morning use a very light moisturizing sunscreen. You can find these in the drugstore but look for those that are formulated for acne and say noncomedogenic on them. The sunscreen will also help to prevent the dark spots that form temporarily (months) after the acne. Let that sink in for about 2-5 minutes.
  • Also in the morning, use (drugstore in most countries) a benzoyl peroxide (5-10%) solution to spot treat the areas with the blackheads and acne. Don’t put this all over, just where you having problems.
  • You can put a noncomedegenic makeup over this if you want to.
  • In the evening, the same gentle cleanser and then a light, noncomedogenic moisturizer (I like the SkinCeuticals B5 gel but it’s expensive). You can find drugstore brands that are fine. Let the moisturizer soak in for about 5-10 minutes.
  • Then use either a glycolic lotion (at least 10%) OR retinol (1.o%) over the moisturizer. If you can get prescription Retin A/tretinoin 0.025%) even better.

Also, remember these three things:

  1. It takes a new acne regimen about 8-10 weeks to really work
  2. If something irritates you, stings, causes a rash,  or burns, stop using it!
  3. If you adjust the regimen, adjust only one thing at a time

Hope this helps,  Dr. I



Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin. I believe that consumers deserve a medically trained and unbiased skin care advocate.

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