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Seeing an unsightly spot on your face just a day or two before a big event may tempt you to squeeze it. People tend to squeeze their spots thinking that releasing the tissue buildup underneath the skin may reduce the swelling and make the pimple go away. Picking at your spots may only irritate your skin and make your skin look worse than it already is.

The skin on your face is composed of two layers: the outer layer or epidermis and the deeper layer or dermis. The dermis contains the hair follicle and sebaceous or oil glands which produce sebum or oil. Your skin regularly secretes oil and pushes it out to the epidermis to lubricate it and keep it smooth. Oftentimes, the oil glands may produce excessive sebum which may rise to the outer layer of the skin and clog your pores. Trapped dead skin cells and oil may stagnate in the pore and attract bacteria. When the infected sebum leaks to the surrounding skin tissue, it may cause swelling, redness and inflammation.

When you squeeze your spots, you cause tiny wounds on your face that may lead to further infection and ugly scars. The pressure you apply on your spot may also push the infected build-up to nearby tissues making the spot appear bigger and redder.

Most skin eruptions subside and disappear without manual intervention. The best way to deal with spots and ugly blemishes is to maintain a regular routine to prevent future spots. Your routine should include the following steps:

Clean your face regularly. Washing with a gentle facial wash at least twice a day or whenever your skin feels oily prevents sebum and dead skin build-up.

Do something about your hair. Your hair may also carry extra oil to your face. Wash your hair frequently and keep your hair short or away from your face.

Exfoliate your skin. Exfoliation removes dead skin and dirt that may be trapped in the epidermis. For oily skin, using a gentle facial scrub no more than three times a week helps keep the spots away while giving your skin a fresh and smooth appearance.

Treat spots with tea tree oil. Tea tree oil has antibacterial properties to fight acne-causing bacteria. It works just as well as over-the-counter pimple medications without causing dryness. Tea tree oil also works gently and with all skin types.

Consume more fresh fruits and vegetables. A diet that is high in fibre, vitamins A and C and beta-carotene helps prevent the formation of spots. Fibre cleans your bowels and prevents toxins from reaching your skin where these may cause irritation. Vitamins A, C and beta carotene are powerful antioxidants that help fight free radicals that may damage your skin. Vitamin A also contributes to skin renewal and prevents dead skin build-up while Vitamin C promotes healing of existing spots.

Eat live foods. Live foods such as yogurt contain good bacteria which your body needs to inhibit the growth of bad bacteria that could be causing your spots. Look for food products with probiotics like lactobacilli and bifidobacteria.

Drink plenty of water. Water flushes out toxins that can clog or irritate your skin. It also hydrates your skin from within making it appear healthy and glowing.

Use an oil free moisturizer. Combination skin types are fairly common. You have combination skin when only a portion of your face such as the T-zone is oily while the rest of your skin feels dry. If you must moisturize, dab an oil-free moisturizer only on the areas where it is needed.


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