As I’m writing this post, I’m lying in bed sick for the second time in a month. Not surprised, considering it’s the middle of flu season and I work in a hospital surrounded by sick people.
Whenever I get sick, my skin condition tends to suffer. My nose peels, my face gets oilier, and I suffer from breakouts. This is because I tend to focus more on healing my body while ignoring my face. Hence, there are days I choose to skip washing my face and applying acne treatments. While my body eventually recovers, I’m stuck dealing with acne, blemishes, and hyperpigmentation for the next few weeks to months.
Here are some tips I follow while I’m sick to maintain my skin and reduce the likelihood of breakouts:
1) Drink lots of water
We’re often told to drink lots of water for a healthy body and skin. Drinking water while sick is especially important because our bodies are prone to water loss as a result of a fever, runny nose, vomiting, etc. By drinking plenty of fluids you can help prevent dehydration, which can often make things worse for both body and skin.
2) Clean your face at least twice a day
When I’m sick, it’s hard not to stay in bed all day. However, one of the biggest culprits for my breakouts is allowing dirt and oil to build up on my face for a day (or even two). Try to drag yourself out of bed and cleanse your face. If you’re up to it, treat yourself to a hot shower. Your face and body will thank you for it!
3) Moisturize your face daily
Maintaining a multi-step skincare routine can be difficult when sick. If I had to pick two steps to not skip while sick, it would be cleansing (see #2) and moisturizing.
Cold weather, illness, and medicine can all combine to dry out your skin. In addition to breakouts, I often deal with peeling skin from having to blow my nose so frequently. Moisturizers not only soothe my face, they also prevent the overproduction of oil as a result of dehydrated skin. If I’m up for it and my nose isn’t running like a faucet, I’ll sit in bed with a moisturizing sheet mask on my face while watching TV.
4) Get plenty of sleep
We all know the negative effects of not getting enough sleep – dull, tired looking skin. The same logic applies while sick, as lack of sleep can delay the healing process. By getting enough sleep, you’ll get well sooner and look more refreshed in the process.
5) Avoid pressing your face against pillows
When I’m sick, I have a bad habit of hanging out face down in bed all day. If I need to use a computer, I’ll put a pillow under my chin to prop it up. As a result, I tend to develop pimples on my chin while sick.
Pressing your pillow against your face can irritate your skin and drive dirt, bacteria, and other acne-causing particles into your pores. If possible, try to lie down on your back to prevent the pillow from touching your face. If your symptoms prevent you from lying on your back, another option is to change your pillowcase daily.
It’s bad enough being sick without having to deal with skin problems on top of a fever, runny nose, congestion, coughing, etc. By following these tips, you can at least maintain your skin and minimize the likelihood of breakouts.
Now that I’m done writing this post, I will follow my own advice and drink a glass of water. Hoping that the rest of 2017 is a healthier!