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How can I get Rid of Acne?

Nicole Madison
Updated May 17, 2024
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It can be very difficult to get rid of acne. In fact, acne is a lifelong issue for some people. Others just deal with it in adolescence, with a stray pimple or two cropping up during adulthood. Either way, there are some treatments that help to get rid of acne or at least minimize it.

Topical treatments are often used to get rid of acne. These treatments work to dry up oil on the surface of the skin and kill bacteria that cause acne. Some of the topical treatments also help the skin shed dead cells. Most over-the-counter topical acne treatments use benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid or lactic acid in fighting pimples; in general, they are considered best for those with very mild acne. For those with Acne that doesn't respond to over-the-counter treatments, doctors often prescribe prescription topical treatments, such as Differin (adapalene) or Retin-A (tretinoin); sometimes topical antibiotics are used as well.

When a person has moderate or severe acne, it may be necessary to use oral antibiotics to get rid of it. These antibiotics serve to lower the number of bacteria that cause acne, reducing inflammation as well. Often, it is necessary to use oral antibiotics for months at a time before significant results are obtained. In many cases, doctors prescribe antibiotics for use along with topical medications. A combination approach is often very helpful in the fight to get rid of acne.

For those who are struggling with severe cystic acne, something more may be necessary to get rid of it. Medications like Accutane (isotretinoin) are used for this type of acne because they're more powerful than some other medications and often work when other treatments fail. Typically, when very powerful medications like this are used to get rid of acne, it is necessary to see a dermatologist on a frequent basis to make sure harmful side effects are not occurring.

Sometimes, people who are not experienced with acne may suggest such things as washing your face and giving up greasy foods to put a stop to pimples; unfortunately, such things usually don't work. While it is important to wash your face every day, doing so usually won't get rid of acne. In fact, if you wash your face too frequently throughout the day, you may strip it of its natural oils, irritating it and causing it to produce even more oil. Likewise, there is no evidence that eating certain foods or omitting other foods helps to get rid of acne. However, there is one exception; drinking eight full glasses of water every day does seem to help promote clear skin.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGeek writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.
Discussion Comments
By Bri — On Nov 18, 2008

The article is right - most products work to dry up oil on the surface or strip oil off the surface. The problem is that this doesn't address the cause of oil. Oil continues to be produced as fast as you try and strip it away.

You need a product that attacks the root cause of oil production. You need a product that reduces DHT that is the key to oil production.

There is only 1 non-prescription product that does this and it works. The product is called CTRL. They make a gender specific version that is customized based on gender.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGeek writer, where she focuses on topics like...
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