In dermatology and skincare, patient compliance can mean the difference between an optimal result and a less-than-stellar outcome. Dermatologists have extensive training and experience prescribing skin care regimens and make their recommendations based on what is best for the health of your skin—accordingly, it is important to follow their instructions and use products as directed.
Just as using the proper products is important, so is using the correct amount. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, “Active ingredients can do more harm than good when too much is used.” For example, potent ingredients, such as retinoids, are traditionally applied in a pea-sized amount; using more product or applying it more frequently than indicated may increase irritation.
Similarly, using topical acne treatments improperly not only lessens the effectiveness of the treatment, but also may cause dryness, flaking and burning.
Professional chemical peels, laser treatments and microdermabrasion also require diligent post-procedural care. For instance, your doctor may prescribe an ointment, to be used after intensive skin resurfacing or a hydrocortisone cream for use on sensitive, post-peel skin. Diligent sunscreen use after any procedure is imperative to protect your results and prevent further skin damage.
Always read a product’s label before application and follow the advice of your doctor: Adhering to the recommended treatment protocol helps ensure the best results from your skin care.