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.