Once your acne improves or clears, you may need to continue your acne medication or other treatment to prevent new acne breakouts. In some cases, you might need to use a topical medication on acne-prone areas, continue taking oral contraceptives or attend on going light therapy sessions to keep your skin clear. Talk to your doctor about how you can prevent new eruptions.
You can also prevent new acne breakouts with self-care measures, such as washing your skin with a gentle cleanser and avoiding touching or picking at the problem areas. Other acne-prevention tips include:
• Wash acne-prone areas only twice a day. Washing removes excess oil and dead skin cells. But too much washing can irritate the skin. Wash areas with a gentle cleanser and use oil-free, water-based skin care products.
• Use an over-the-counter acne cream or gel to help dry excess oil. Look for products containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid as the active ingredient.
• Avoid heavy foundation makeup. Choose powder cosmetics over cream products because they're less irritating.
• Remove makeup before going to bed. Going to sleep with cosmetics on your skin can clog tiny openings of the hair follicles (pores). Also, be sure to throw out old makeup and clean your cosmetic brushes and applicators regularly with soapy water.
• Wear loose fitting clothing. Tightfitting clothing traps heat and moisture and can irritate your skin. Also, whenever possible, avoid tightfitting straps, backpacks, helmets or sports equipment to prevent friction against your skin.
• Shower after exercising or doing strenuous work. Oil and sweat on your skin can trap dirt and bacteria.
There is no cure for acne vulgaris, but it can be treated. For those with a mild case of acne vulgaris, over-the-counter products might do the trick. Prescription medicines are needed for more severe or persistent cases. To help control acne, keep your skin clean. Avoid skin products that clog your pores. Wash your skin once or twice a day with a gentle soap or acne wash. Try not to scrub or pick at your pimples. This can make them worse and can cause scars. If you have just a few pimples to treat, you can get an acne cream without a prescription. It can take time to get acne under control. But if you haven't had good results with non-prescription products after trying them for 3 months, see your doctor. A prescription gel or skin cream may be all you need.