It is difficult to get rid of acne entirely, especially while you're a teenager. To start, avoid touching your face as much as possible, as it spreads dirt and oil that can get trapped in pores. Additionally, you can use topical medications and specially formulated facial products to treat acne, and to help prevent future outbreaks.
Over-the-counter medications can help you treat current acne outbreaks and reduce future ones. Look for creams or toners that include resorcinol, benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid or antibiotics. Follow the directions carefully, and apply the topicals gently.
Avoid greasy face lotions, normal soaps and harsh facial cleansers. Instead, choose moisturizing gels, oil-free lotions and soap-free cleansers. Only wash your face twice a day, and always do it gently, without scrubbing. If you use makeup, look for products that are oil-free or designed for acne-prone skin. Apply them softly without rubbing your skin.
Whenever possible, don't let anything touch your face. Keep your hands off your skin unless you are washing it or applying products. Although it's tempting, don't squeeze or pick your pimples. Keep hats, hair and cell phones away from your skin, too; they can carry oils that clog your pores. If you get acne on your body as well as your face, try wearing loose, breathable clothing and keeping your hair up.
If your acne still persists, see a dermatologist, who may prescribe corticosteroid injections, advanced topical medications or oral medications such as antibiotics or hormones.
- Spot-treat with an acne product
Choose an over-the-counter acne product, and spot-treat areas of acne. Experimentation may be necessary to find the most effective product. Carefully follow the directions on the package to avoid skin flaking and further irritation.
- Use a facial mask containing sulfur
When spot treatments are not working effectively, use a facial mask with sulfur. This helps unclog pores and reduces the appearance of inflammation.
- Hold ice on affected areas
To reduce redness and swelling, hold ice on affected areas. Never apply the ice directly to the skin. Instead, wrap it in tissue or a soft cloth first. Hold ice on blemishes for 20-30 second intervals a few times a day.
- See an esthetician for zap treatments
When nothing else is working effectively, make an appointment to see an esthetician for zap treatments. Zap treatments use a high-frequency current to kill the bacteria that causes acne. The process is not painful.
- See a dermatologist for an injection
As a final resort, make an appointment to see a dermatologist for a cortisone injection to help control the breakouts.