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Acne - Home Treatment

Treatment at home can help reduce acne flare-ups.

  • Wash your face (or other affected skin) gently one or two times a day.
  • Do not squeeze pimples, because that often leads to infections, worse acne, and scars.
  • Use a moisturizer to keep your skin from drying out. Choose one that says "noncomedogenic" on the label.
  • Use over-the-counter medicated creams, soaps, lotions, and gels to treat your acne. Always read the label carefully to make sure you are using the product correctly.

Examples of some over-the-counter products used to treat acne include:

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Understanding Acne Treatment

The occasional pimple can be concealed. If used at all, over-the-counter cover-up creams and cosmetics should be water-based. Even if outbreaks of acne cannot be eliminated, conventional treatment can provide relief. The best treatments inhibit sebum production, limit bacterial growth, or encourage shedding of skin cells to unclog pores. Because many therapies can have side effects, any patient with acne should proceed with caution when trying a new treatment. People with any type of acne that lowers...

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  • Benzoyl peroxide (such as Brevoxyl or Triaz), which unplugs pores.
  • Alpha hydroxy acid, which dries up blemishes and causes the top skin layer to peel. You'll find alpha hydroxy acid in some moisturizers, cleansers, eye creams, and sunscreens.
  • Salicylic acid (such as Propa pH or Stridex), which dries up blemishes and causes the top skin layer to peel.
  • Tea tree oil, which kills bacteria. You'll find tea tree oil in some gels, creams, and oils.

Some skin care products, such as those with alpha hydroxy acid, will make your skin very sensitive to ultraviolet (UV) light. Protect your skin from the sun and other sources of UV light.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 23, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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