We all know how a bit of acne can ruin a big day, or make any day-to-day social event unbearable. These little blemishes and bumps can draw unwanted attention or remarks. Be it in school, at work, or even the day you were about to ask out your crush, a bit of acne can send your confidence down the drain. The big question is, how do we get rid of acne? The following article will contain some tips and tricks to quickly get rid of these unsightly little marks from our face and get us back to the full state of confidence we need to succeed in life! We're going to explore some natural and commercial methods to get rid of acne fast and some long-term tactics to prevent it.
Medical Disclaimer: Severe cases of acne should be referred to a professional or specialist who can provide you with additional assistance.
1. Try topical creams.
A large proportion of acne medications come in the form of topical creams. These creams or ointments generally contain medical ingredients that unclog pores and kill bacteria that cause acne. Some can be purchased over the counter at your local pharmacy or drug store, where other more powerful treatments require a prescription to be filled. Some creams use such active ingredients as benzoyl peroxide and azelaic acid.
2. Try cleansers and wipes.
Skin cleansers are used to clean the infected areas and remove oils. These methods come in the form of face washes and alcohol based wipes. When using cleansers and wipes it is important to follow the directions provided by the manufacturer.
Using this method can be beneficial in the sense that some do not contain medical ingredients and can be easily purchased over the counter at most stores. Face cleansers and wipes help remove oil build up from pores and can be a good tool to prevent breakouts. Oily skin, which will help you down the road to maintain healthy looking well into your life, can be frustrating when you are younger because of the acne it often causes. Use cleansers and wipes to get rid of that oil!
3. Use oral medications.
There are many oral acne medications on the market that can help treat acne breakouts. Please consult your doctor or a dermatologist for a list of oral acne medications for treatment options, as these oral medications often have medical side effects that you should be aware of.
4. Extract the acne.
Another method to deal with acne breakouts is extraction. Extraction or "popping a zit" can leave scarring and is not always a suggested method. Extraction can be used to remove white heads and black heads by using a "comedone extractor” or by squeezing it by hand.
Comedones are generally used by professionals, however, extractor kits can be purchased in most drug stores. Its important to remember to be gentle when using this technique as this method may leave scars. Extraction may also make the blemish more noticeable as well, so you may want to avoid this method if you are worried about making the problem area more visible.
5. Cover it up.
In a pinch, makeup can be used to hide minor acne or blemishes. This technique works well to cover blemishes for photos and important events that don't allow time for cleansing or removal.
Different covers can be used but it is advised to stay away from oil based makeups: remember our discussion about an oily face? Adding extra oily products could worsen the breakout. Be sure to match the makeup to your skin tone before starting, then apply to the breakout areas. Be sure to blend the makeup to make the blemish less noticeable.
6. Prevention is the best cure.
As with most things, prevention is usually the best medicine. In the case of minor acne breakouts, frequent washing of the face can prevent future acne breakouts. When washing the face, it is important to remember that the skin on the face is sensitive and too much scrubbing can do more harm then good.
Start by rinsing your face with warm water before applying a mild soap or cleanser. Lather the soap in your hands and cloth and thoroughly, but gently, wash your face. Rinse again with warm water and pat dry with a soft cloth. This will help remove the oils that often cause acne in the first place, and you will be well on your way to keeping acne at bay in the future!
7. Use natural remedies.
Natural and home remedies can be used in place of some of the techniques above, but are not always recommended. One drawback could be the time it takes to relieve the breakout, but if you have the time, these methods may be for you. Some benefits of natural remedies are that they can be cost effective and gentler on your skin. These remedies are used as a face mask (not including the baking soda scrub) and are applied to the whole face and left for 10-15 minutes before rinsing.
Some natural remedies include aloe vera, tea tree oil, green tea extract, and apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar needs a thickener, such as honey, to ease application, so be sure to add this into the mix when you make a paste using apple cider vinegar. You can also use a baking soda scrub to fill the same purpose. Make a paste using water combined with a small amount of baking soda and use this as a cleanser.
You have several options to help ease the burden caused by acne. You can go the faster acting medical route by using store bought cleansers or prescribed oral medications, or you can use natural or store bought cleansers to regularly clean your skin to help prevent breakouts.
Avoiding acne is the overall ideal, so you will do best to actively work at prevention by keeping your face clean, and thus (hopefully) blemish free! Whatever you decide it is important to carefully consider all options available, and is suggested that you consult a professional before using any of the more serious medicinal efforts to get rid of acne. Best of luck clearing up your acne!