Lifestyle and home remedies

By Mayo Clinic Staff

You can avoid or control most acne with good basic skin care and the following self-care techniques:

  • Wash problem areas with a gentle cleanser. Products such as facial scrubs, astringents and masks generally aren't recommended because they tend to irritate skin, which can worsen acne. Excessive washing and scrubbing also can irritate skin. If you tend to develop acne around your hairline, shampoo your hair frequently.
  • Try over-the-counter acne lotion to dry excess oil and promote peeling. Look for products containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid as the active ingredient.
  • Avoid irritants. You may want to avoid oily or greasy cosmetics, sunscreens, hairstyling products or acne concealers. Use products labeled "water-based" or "noncomedogenic." For some people, the sun worsens acne. Additionally, some acne medications can make you more susceptible to the sun's rays. Check with your doctor to see if your medication is one of these, and if so, stay out of the sun as much as possible and anytime you have to be in the sun, use sunscreen that doesn't clog your pores.
  • Watch what touches your face. Keep your hair clean and off your face. Also avoid resting your hands or objects, such as telephone receivers, on your face. Tight clothing or hats also can pose a problem, especially if you'll be sweating. Sweat, dirt and oils can contribute to acne.
  • Don't pick or squeeze blemishes. Picking or squeezing can cause infection or scarring. If you need aggressive treatment, see your doctor or dermatologist.
Oct. 21, 2011

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