How do I Treat Acne Breakouts?

A. Pasbjerg

People who suffer from acne breakouts have a variety of options when it comes to treatment. Some of them treat the breakout itself, while others may help address the underlying cause of the acne. Keeping the skin clean is very important, and is often particularly effective when done with a cleanser designed to fight pimples. There are numerous topical ointments and medications, both over-the-counter and prescription-strength, that can be used to clear up blemishes. Several natural remedies, including diet changes and vitamin supplements, can also be effective for clearing the skin.

A boy with acne.
A boy with acne.

To minimize the oil and bacteria that contribute to acne breakouts, it is important to wash the affected area on a daily basis. There are many soaps and cleansers designed specifically to fight acne. The skin should be washed gently once or twice a day. Incorporating a cleanser which includes an exfoliant every few days can also be helpful, as it clears away dead skin cells which can clog pores. Along with washing, some other strategies for keeping skin clean and oil-free include keeping long hair off the face, minimizing makeup use, and sleeping on a clean pillowcase.

There are various methods available to help reduce acne.
There are various methods available to help reduce acne.

Many people suffering from acne breakouts need to use medical treatments to effectively clear them. A variety of creams and ointments, mostly containing benzoyl peroxide, are readily available over the counter. Stronger prescription medications, such as retinoids, may be used for more severe or persistent breakouts. Some oral drugs may also be prescribed in certain, usually extreme cases.

Skin care products for acne-prone skin can help reduce oiliness and blemishes.
Skin care products for acne-prone skin can help reduce oiliness and blemishes.

Dietary changes can be very effective for treating acne breakouts. Many sufferers find that reducing fatty, fried, or greasy foods in their diets helps clear their skin. Often cutting out chocolate and other sweets can help as well. Keeping well hydrated by drinking plenty of water, which also helps clear toxins from the body, works to combat acne for many people.

Dietary changes can be very effective for treating acne breakouts.
Dietary changes can be very effective for treating acne breakouts.

There are many vitamins and minerals crucial for healthy skin, so treatment of acne breakouts should involve making sure sufferers get adequate amounts of them. Vitamin A, or beta carotene, is crucial for the health of the skin and has been found to help fight acne. Zinc and chromium both fight the bacteria that can lead to pimples and cause them to become infected. In addition to these, it is important to have adequate amounts of all essential nutrients, so taking a good multivitamin is usually a good strategy to battle breakouts.

Benzoyl peroxide treats acne by decreasing the amount of bacteria on the skin.
Benzoyl peroxide treats acne by decreasing the amount of bacteria on the skin.

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