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Acne Tips and Cures

Acne Tips and Cures Acne Tips and Cures Acne Tips and Cures

Acne can affect people of any age, but it is most common in teenagers. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, 85 percent of American teens suffer from acne each year and 40 to 50 million Americans of all ages are currently suffering from acne. Treating acne blemishes can help you to minimize the risk of scarring. However, dealing with acne doesn't end with applying acne medications; you also have to take good care of your skin to help prevent future outbreaks.

Don't Touch

Keep your hands off of any acne-prone areas. Also, keep objects such as phones off these areas. Skin and objects can harbor bacteria and germs, which can make acne worse. Keeping your hands away from the acne-prone areas includes not picking at the blemishes or trying to pop them.

Limit Sun Exposure

Some acne medications can cause sensitivity to sunlight. If you are using any topical or oral medications, ask your dermatologist if you are at risk for sun sensitivity. In any case, wear sunscreen daily to help protect your skin. Make sure any products you use on your face are labeled as non-acnegenic or noncomedogenic.


Use a gentle cleanser and your fingertips to clean the acne-prone area, recommends the American Academy of Dermatology. You can do this once or twice per day, ideally when you wake up and before you go to sleep. Avoid cleansers that are oil based, have abrasives such as micro-scrubbers or contain fragrances. After cleaning your skin, allow it to air dry or pat it dry with a clean, soft towel. Rough towels or scrubbing acne-prone areas can make the acne worse, and using a dirty towel can introduce bacteria into the area.

Self-Treat the Blemishes

For mild cases of acne, use over-the-counter topical medications that contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. These products may cause your skin to become dry and crack; if this happens, continue using the products but decrease the frequency you use them if necessary. Over-the-counter treatments work by killing bacteria, making your skin peel off and drying up the oil in the affected area, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Prescription Options

If your acne is severe or unresponsive to these treatments, you may need prescription treatments such as antibiotics, retinoids or corticosterioids. Some acne may respond to laser or light treatments. Women who suffer from acne may benefit from taking birth control pills. For severe acne cases, dermatologists may prescribe isotretinoin, which is a systemic treatment that requires the user to join the FDA's iPLEDGE program to help prevent birth defects. Another option for severe acne is the use of corticosteroid injections directly into the acne lesions.

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