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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:

Recommended Related to Acne

Understanding Acne Basics

There's a reason it's called "common acne" -- nearly everyone suffers from a pimple outbreak at some point in life. It starts when greasy secretions from the skin's sebaceous glands (oil glands) plug the tiny openings for hair follicles (plugged pores). If the openings are large, the clogs take the form of blackheads: small, flat spots with dark centers. If the openings stay small, the clogs take the form of whiteheads: small, flesh-colored bumps. Both types of plugged pores can develop into swollen,...

Read the Understanding Acne Basics article > >

  • 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.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 17, 2014
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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