After months of procrastinating to get a new prescription, I finally splurged on a pair of glasses that I adore. But with them came a surprise: acne.
It seemed like there was a new pimple on the bridge of my nose pretty much every other day. Because I hadn’t worn my old glasses and because those buttons still appeared in that exact spot, my beautiful new glasses were unfortunately the prime suspect.
Sure, being able to see is cool and all, but wouldn’t that be great if it didn’t cause rashes as well? Yes! it would! In fact, I spoke to an expert on how to deal with this specific situation. Here is what I learned.
How to tell if it’s really acne
The biggest clue that your glasses are causing acne is where the acne appears, Laura Ferris, MD, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Dermatology at the University of Pittsburgh told SELF. The bridge of your nose, your cheeks where the rims are, and the ears where they might rub are all common places.
“The other [major sign] that’s if you can say, “I didn’t have it,” and then all of a sudden you develop it, ”says Dr. Ferris, which is exactly what happened to me. -be your first pair of frames and you’ve got pimples in places you’ve never seen them before, or maybe you’ve stopped wearing glasses or alternated with contact lenses. Whatever the situation, if you notice that you have acne where you didn’t have it before, and now you’re wearing glasses, that’s another clue that your glasses are to blame.
But other conditions can mimic acne, even in these areas. One that Dr Ferris particularly warns against is called acanthoma fissurataum, which is a thickened patch of skin that experts say develops after repeated trauma to an area – and this happens specifically in people who wear glasses. So if your frames are constantly rubbing the top of your ears or the bridge of your nose, they could be the cause.
How do glasses cause acne?
“It’s really due to too much pressure,” says Dr Ferris. This form of acne, mechanical acne, develops when something presses on the skin, which prevents the normal shedding of skin cells, she says. Instead, these skin cells clog your pores and lead to acne. Having oily skin and wearing thicker makeup only makes the problem worse.
Mechanical acne is also common in those who exercise or wear restrictive athletic clothes, as these clothes can trap sweat and heat, making it even more likely that pressure from clothing or equipment will cause acne in the areas that these clothes affect.
Here is how to treat.
Fortunately, once you’re sure it’s acne, there are specific ways to treat the bumps in sensitive areas of your face as well as prevent them from coming back.
Get your glasses adjusted. If you find that you frequently have to pull your glasses up on your nose, or if they are so thick or heavy that they cause acne in the cheek area where the lenses touch your face, you should go to your eye doctor or elsewhere. you got your glasses to fit, says Dr. Ferris. “Occasionally [the answer is] put new bridges over the nose to distribute the pressure, ”she said.
Wipe your glasses frequently. “Make sure to clean your glasses,” advises Dr. Ferris. She suggests getting an alcohol wipe and applying it to every part that touches your face every night.
Use an over-the-counter acne cleanser. Using an over-the-counter acne cleanser that contains salicylic acid at night is an easy way to manage mild acne all over your face, says Dr. Ferris, especially if you notice it on your cheeks. and not just on the bridge of your nose.
Use an over-the-counter spot treatment. If your acne pimples are mostly confined to one area of your face, like the bridge of your nose, a spot treatment containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide is the way to go, says Dr. Ferris. Other options include acne patches that you can wear overnight and prescription topical antibiotics.
Take breaks from wearing your glasses if possible. Your glasses obviously have a very important function. But if it’s possible for you to take breaks during the day, take advantage of them to reduce the likelihood of them causing acne, says Dr. Ferris.
Use makeup remover before cleansing. “Make sure you remove your makeup well,” says Dr. Ferris. Makeup buildup under your glasses can certainly contribute to acne, so it’s important to make sure everything is turned off, using makeup remover or micellar water, before you even wash your face. , she explains. (And when it comes to washing, go for a cleanser that’s not oil-based, she says.)
Use concealers with salicylic acid. While your acne is healing, Dr. Ferris suggests using concealers that contain salicylic acid to continue treating them while covering the bumps.
When to check with a dermis
If you aren’t sure if you have acne or if something else is going on, it’s always a good idea to speak to a professional. And if what you think is acne doesn’t go away with these measurements, or if you also have a lot of acne on other parts of your face, it’s important to check with your dermis for the best way to get it. to manage. They may be able to prescribe antibiotic medication that can better manage any acne.
And if your bumps don’t go away or seem to heal, they could be a sign of another condition, including, perhaps, skin cancer, which you’ll want to get looked at ASAP, Dr. says. Ferris.
But for most of us who wear glasses, acne is a common but manageable annoyance.