How to Treat and Prevent Acne

Woman looking at her skin in the mirror

There’s nothing worse than having a big, inflamed pimple ... except, of course, having multiple inflamed pimples.

Whether you’re dealing with a single behemoth or a colony of blemishes, you need to be prepared with the right spot treatment products to shrink inflamed acne — and also develop an acne-fighting clear skin cleansing and care regimen that prevents breakouts from forming in the first place. Acne is a cyclical problem that requires an “every day” treatment routine, not just emergency fixes when a spot pops up.

You’ve also probably heard that picking or popping a pimple is a major no-no (and it’s true), but simply ignoring breakouts won’t help either. To help get rid of acne, experts recommend an active treatment approach.

That’s because, when a pimple appears, you have to treat it or it will take longer to go away. For some people, especially those with darker complexions, it can leave marks.

If you have a single inflamed pimple, use an acne spot treatment one to three times a day until the spot clears. The acne specialists at Neutrogena® recommend a product with either salicylic acid, which exfoliates and unclogs pores, or one with benzoyl peroxide, whose antibacterial properties help eradicate inflammation.

Also, pay attention to how you’re covering up pimples as they heal. It may be tempting to pile make-up on when you have acne, but that can make it worse — and make pimples last longer. When you have active pimples, it’s important to let skin breathe and stay away from applying any comedogenic (pore-clogging) products that can trap dirt, oil and bacteria.


Woman washing her face with NEUTROGENA® products to help treat & prevent acne

To prevent angry pimples from forming, make sure you’re keeping up with the right clear skin routine: cleansing twice a day, every day, with a medicated cleanser, applying a light and non-pore-clogging moisturizer, and choosing an acne-friendly sunscreen, such as Neutrogena® CLEAR FACE® Lotion SPF 30. If your acne problems persist despite your efforts, it’s best to consult a dermatologist.

But with the right preventive measures and approach for when that throbbing blemish comes to a head, you’ll be prepared to clear up your skin—and make sure that those annoying pimples stay away.

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