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Acne (cont.)

Prevention

Although you can't prevent acne, there are steps you can take at home to keep acne from getting worse.

  • Gently wash and care for your skin every day. Avoid scrubbing too hard or washing too often.
  • Avoid heavy sweating if you think it causes your acne to get worse. Wash soon after activities that cause you to sweat.
  • Wash your hair often if your hair is oily. Try to keep your hair off of your face.
  • Avoid hair care products such as gels, mousses, cream rinses, and pomades that contain a lot of oil.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Wear soft, cotton clothing or moleskin under sports equipment. Parts of equipment, such as chin straps, can rub your skin and make your acne worse.
  • Avoid exposure to oils and harsh chemicals, such as petroleum.
  • Click here to view an Actionset.Protect your skin from too much sun.

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.

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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