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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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An estimated 40 million to 50 million Americans are affected by some form of acne, and not just teenagers. Although up to 80% of people aged 11 to 30 say they've been affected, it turns out that many of us, particularly women, have acne in our late 30s and even into our 50s, says Jenny J. Kim, MD, PhD, associate professor of dermatology at the University of California, Los Angeles, David Geffen School of Medicine. "Sometimes it is hard for patients dealing with acne to understand why, even with...

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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.

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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