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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 water-based skin care products that gently clean your skin. Avoid products such as milky cleansers, cold creams, lipsticks, and lip glosses that contain oils.
  • 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:

  • 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.

Other products that may help your overall skin condition include skin pore-cleaning strips. When you peel these sticky strips off your skin, dirt and/or makeup is removed by the strip.

You’ll have better results if you follow the directions for using topical medicines. If you use a product too often, acne can get worse.