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How Do I Choose the Best Treatment for Blemishes?

By Tiffany Manley
Updated May 17, 2024
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If you have concerns about your acne, a visit to the dermatologist is generally a good idea. He or she can gauge the severity of your case and determine if prescription strength medicine is needed as treatment for blemishes. When over-the-counter methods are used, look for cleansers and other skin care products that contain salicylic acid, and that are non-comedogenic. Treatment for blemishes might also require trying a variety of brands before finding one that works well for you.

A dermatologist is trained to identify and treat a variety of skin conditions, meaning he or she specializes in the treatment of blemishes. Sometimes acne is so bad that a prescription is necessary to do things like balance oil production, level out the amount of bacteria in the body, or lessen scarring. Stronger medications might have harmful side effects so it is usually best to use them only under the care of a physician.

If you do not need prescription strength methods, treatment for blemishes can typically still be handled by the use of over-the-counter products. Generally using a good cleanser is the first step in successful treatment for blemishes. Two common ingredients found in acne cleansers are benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. Together or separately, these two ingredients work to clean pores of dirt and oil, help the outer layer of skin cells to be easily removed, and shrink pores to prevent further blemishes. These ingredients can sometimes irritate the skin, so be sure to carefully follow the directions and stop if irritation becomes a problem.

In addition to using proper cleansers as treatment for blemishes, you should generally use non-comedogenic lotions, make up, and other products. This means that the products are designed to avoid clogging pores. Most types of skincare products offer non-comedogenic varieties, so it is often easy to find ones that will not affect your treatment. If you must use a product that is not labeled as being non-comedogenic, wash the area as soon as possible to avoid clogging of the pores.

Different brands often have slightly varied formulas when it comes to skincare products. Try to avoid relying solely on price or brand recognition when deciding which products to purchase. Review the list of ingredients and the amount of salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide in each to determine whether a product might be good to try. Something with a large number of ingredients might not be best. It might be necessary to try a few different brands before deciding upon one that works well for you.

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.

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