ZocdocAnswersIs there anything I can do about my oily skin?

Question

Is there anything I can do about my oily skin?

No matter how much I shower or wash my face, I still have oily skin. What can I do about this? I don?t really want to take medication, but is there a prescription that could help me?

Answer

Oil is produced by the sebaceous glands of the skin, and it serves on important function, as it keeps the skin moisturized and protected from environmental irritants. The amount of oil that is produced by the skin is mostly determined by genetic factors - in other words, there are some people who have more oily skin than others, but this is not usually due to any specific medical problem. Nevertheless, excess oil production can obviously be a cosmetic problem! Thankfully there are some things you can do to help with the problem! First of all, it is important to avoid harsh astringents and soaps. Paradoxically, although these do tend to remove the oil from the skin, they also dry out the skin too much and can stimulate the oil glands to produce more oil, leading to a worse problem! Similarly, many people think that not putting lotion on the face is helpful when there is too much oil production but, in fact, a light grease-free moisturizer can reduce skin dryness and help decrease oiliness. In addition to these steps, the most important additional step is to use a light facial cleanser daily. Again avoid very hot water and excessive scrubbing, as these will dry the skin out too much. In any case, please talk to your primary care doctor or your dermatologist soon. They can conduct a full evaluation and offer a treatment course.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.