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How to Treat Pimples & Blackheads

How to Treat Pimples & Blackheads How to Treat Pimples & Blackheads


The various marks made by acne breakouts include blackheads, pustules, whiteheads, cysts and nodules. Pustules, commonly referred to as zits or pimples, usually appear as a reddish circle with a white or yellow bump of pus in the center. The plug of blocked dead skin cells and oil that causes the white or yellow bump can also cause blackheads, report Mayo Clinic doctors. There are a variety of treatments for the two most common forms of skin lesions.

Step 1

Use over-the counter acne medicines that dry up the pimples and slough off the dead skin that holds the blackheads. According to Mayo Clinic doctors, the best acne creams contain benzoil peroxide, salicylic acid, resorcinol and sulfur. They are generally mild, but can cause dryness and flaking, which subsides after about a month of use.

Step 2

Consult your doctor to obtain a prescription for a topical cream. Products that contain a derivative of vitamin A, such as retinal, tazarotene and elastin, can promote new skin growth and prevent future acne breakouts.

Step 3

Combine prescription cream with over-the-counter medications for maximum effectiveness, recommends the Mayo Clinic. Side effects may include slight redness and burning.

Step 4

See a dermatologist if you have severe acne that doesn't respond to over-the-counter treatment to obtain a prescription for antibiotics that will kill the bacteria that's causing the pimples and blackheads. Antibiotics can cause sensitivity to the sun, upset stomach and skin discoloration.

Step 5

Consider more drastic measures such as microdermabrasion, chemical peel or laser therapy to get rid of pimples and acne. A dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon usually performs the techniques on an outpatient basis. The procedures involve removing the top layer of skin that houses the pimples and blackheads, essentially removing them. Lasers also can promote new cell growth. These minimally invasive surgical procedures usually leave the skin red and slightly burned for a couple weeks.

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