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The Importance of Skin Care Compliance

In dermatologic circles, patient compliance can mean the difference between an optimal result and less-than-stellar outcome. A dermatologist has extensive training and experience prescribing skin care regimens and makes 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 and sun sensitivity.

Similarly, using topical acne treatments improperly not only lessens the effectiveness of the treatment, but also may cause dryness, flaking and burning.

Professional peels, laser treatments and fractional resurfacing procedures also require diligent post-procedural care. For instance, your doctor may prescribe an ointment 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.