To eliminate acne, use a gentle cleanser to wash the affected area, and apply over-the-counter acne medications as recommended by the product packaging. Prescription medications are also available to treat acne. Many people with acne-prone skin must follow a daily routine to prevent new breakouts from occurring.
- Maintain clean skin
Clean the skin with a gentle cleanser twice daily, and use a noncomedogenic or nonacnegenic moisturizer and sunscreen daily. Wash towels and pillowcases after a single use to prevent the spread of acne-causing bacteria.
- Apply over-the-counter medications
Over-the-counter medications, such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid and alpha hydroxy acid, are used to treat acne. Apply the medications according to the instructions on the product packaging. When using over-the-counter acne treatments, take steps to protect the skin from UV light, as some acne medications increase the risk of sunburn.
- Use prescription medications
Some types of acne respond well to prescription medications. Prescription medications can include a combination of oral medications, such as antibiotics, and topical gels. The specific types of medications prescribed varies depending on the type of acne present. Because some prescription acne medications aren't safe to take during pregnancy, women may also be prescribed an oral contraceptive when taking certain medications.