Although acne is a frustrating condition on its own, it can become a little more annoying when it is itchy. Some people who struggle with acne may experience pain or itching that prompts them to rub their faces or pick at their blemishes. This can create more problems, as scratching may result in infection and higher risk of scarring.
If you too are dealing with itchy acne, you may be wondering if it is normal or what it means. Continue reading to find out what causes acne to itch, as well as ways to relieve or manage this itchiness.
Causes of itchy acne
A number of factors can cause itching or even make the sensation worse. Moreover, some types of acne are more or less likely to itch. Compared to comedonal acne or blackheads and whiteheads, inflammatory acne, which manifests itself in red and cystic breakouts, tends to itch or hurt.
Here are the reasons why your acne is itchy:
- Side effects of treatments – Some acne medications, especially those that contain salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and retinol can cause dryness and itchiness. Moisturizing after using the medication helps. There are also cases, however, where it is recommended to lower the strength of the product you’re using or reduce the frequency of application.
- Allergic reaction – Certain active ingredients in an acne medication can cause some mild itching and redness, as well as swelling and burning. While it is fairly common to have a reaction to topical acne medication, severe allergic reactions are rare. If you, however, believe that you’re allergic to a certain treatment, it is advisable to stop using it.
- Cystic acne – This refers to large, red, and inflamed breakouts that are rooted deep under the skin. Cystic acne also tends to swell, hurt, and itch. Using a cold compress can help reduce swelling and make the breakouts less itchy or painful. Excessive application of topical medication is not advisable, as this can only cause dryness and irritation. Seeing a skin or aesthetic doctor is recommended in managing cystic acne.
Other things that can trigger itchiness include:
- Sunlight or UV exposure
Managing itchy acne
There are a number of ways to control or manage itchy blemishes. You can start with getting treatment for your acne and being gentle to your skin. Below are a few things that can help:
- Avoid scratching or picking your blemishes – It may be tempting to rub or scratch your face, but doing so leads to further irritation. Do take note that your hands are covered in bacteria and touching your pimples can transfer dirt to your face. This can then clog your pores, aggravate acne, and cause new pimples. Scarring and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation are also likely.
- Treat your skin right – This means avoid over washing and using a moisturizer after cleansing your face. If you think dry skin is what’s causing your acne to itch, switch to gentler products or those that are free of alcohol, synthetic fragrances, and high strength active ingredients. You can also fight itching and dryness by using an oil-free moisturizer several times a day.
- Protect your skin from the sun – Prolonged sun exposure can cause sunburn, accelerate the aging process, and increase your risk of skin cancer. Protect your skin by wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF 30 or more and limiting your sun exposure. You also need to be more careful about the sun when using acne medications, as certain ingredients can make you more sensitive to the sunlight.
- Get the right treatment for your acne – Topical medications are not always enough to treat painful and inflamed acne. If you’re dealing in cystic acne or have tried over-counter-treatments for your inflamed blemishes but see no improvement, see a dermatologist or aesthetic doctor. This is to determine the right treatment and lower your risk of permanent scarring.
At Cutis Medical Laser Clinics in Singapore, we have a number of aesthetic treatments that can help manage acne and improve skin quality. Some of the things that can help include:
VI Peel Purify
This type of VI Peel is made for those with acne, oily, and blemish-prone skin. It is an effective treatment for active acne and improves other skin concerns caused by acne symptoms. VI Peel Purify has a unique formula that can reduce comedones, kill acne-causing bacteria, and increase cellular turnover.
Laser Genesis Skin Therapy
Using an FDA-cleared laser technology, Laser Genesis Skin Therapy helps improve skin texture by addressing skin redness, enlarged pores, fine lines, and uneven skin tone. It can be combined with chemical peel to fight acne and other types of blemishes. Laser Genesis also stimulates collagen growth to promote healthy and radiant skin.
Clarifying Facial with Sapphire
This medical-grade facial removes dead skin cells and kills acne-causing bacteria, making it ideal for clarifying congested skin. It uses the Sapphire Blue Light Technology for treating acne and clearing inflammation. This Clarifying Facial also helps get rid of impurities, leaving you with clear and nourished skin.
Manage acne and its itchiness with the tips mentioned above. Contact Cutis Medical Laser Clinics in Singapore and schedule a consultation with our aesthetic doctor to learn how you can combat and control acne and other skin conditions.
- If you would like to be an informed patient, please contact us at +65-6801-4000 or
- Cutis Medical Laser Clinics, 9 Scotts Road Pacific Plaza, Scotts Medical Center #08-07, Singapore – 228210