Many of us tend to think that acne only affects teenagers whose hormones are developing and raging. Not so. Acne can affect anyone at any age; you can breeze through your teenage years with clear skin, wake up one morning in your 30s, and suddenly find that your face is breaking out. Though annoying, this is totally normal. Sometimes our hormones and other glands start working overtime at various points in our lives, not just when we’re in middle school or high school. If the above scenario describes you, then the next question you’re probably asking – besides, “Why?” – is, “How do I get rid of it?” Look no further than a simple hydrocortisone cream, which can either be prescribed by a dermatologist or sold over-the-counter in most convenience and drug stores.
Isn’t Hydrocortisone a Steroid?
Hydrocortisone is indeed a steroid. To get technical, it is a topical steroid that is used to treat redness, inflammation, and swelling of the skin. Sound familiar? That’s because those are all of the symptoms of having a pimple. Hydrocortisone creams are prescribed and used when individuals suffer from cystic acne, a severe type of acne which lies deep in the layers of the skin and takes on a red, rash-like appearance, common in the chin and cheek areas of the face. Hydrocortisone creams are also used to treat skin conditions such as eczema, since eczema patients also experience a redness and inflammation of the skin.
So how does it work to help your acne? As you may well know by now, pimples and acne are a direct result of your pores getting clogged with oils and other bacteria, either from your face or from the environment. The more oils your face secretes, the more clogged pores you are likely to experience. Hydrocortisone works to reduce the inflammation on your face as well as the red-rash appearance, and it also serves to dry up the pimples so that they virtually disappear. You can then wash your face of the cream to reveal a shrunken pimple or patch of pimples.
A Couple of Things to Keep in Mind
While people swear by hydrocortisone, this is not a cream to be used on a daily basis and over an extended period of time. It is a very powerful steroid, and too much contact with the skin can result in skin irritation. Use the hydrocortisone more as a spot-treatment for a pimple you see start to develop. You are not to rub the hydrocortisone all over your cystic acne and hope that it cures it.
Another important note is that hydrocortisone typically dries white; for this reason, you should be using it as an over-night spot treatment to avoid any weird looks and side eyes during the day.