How To Treat Acne | Skin Diaries | By Dr. Rajiv Sekhri


The moment you spot a pimple, the next thing is to pop it. Popping a pimple may seem like one of the quickest ways to get rid of acne. And most of us might not think twice before doing so. However, this is not a good idea. Time and again dermatologists have shed light on why you should leave it to them to pop a pimple. A common skin problem, acne is not a disease but an easily treatable and manageable problem. All you have to do is get your basics right. And the first and foremost thing to treat acne is to get in touch with a qualified and experienced dermatologist.

Dr. Rajiv Sekhri, a Delhi-based dermatologist has shared some quick bytes on how to treat acne at home. Right from medications to get rid of acne to following a proper skin care routine to keep the skin healthy, here are three key instructions on how to treat acne that you should take note of!

#1. Cleansing your face is a must

According to the expert, a person suffering from acne should use a standard cleansing method to keep the face clean. This includes the use of a normal soap to clean the face or use of a face wash to wash your face. You can wash your face twice a day or when you are sweaty. Ideally, it is not recommended to wash your face more often if you have acne as it can irritate the skin and make it worse.

Secondly, there is no need to really scrub your face to remove impurities and dirt from the skin. This is because, when you scrub, there are high chances that you might end up breaking those nasty pimples which in turn can increase the risk of infection. Moreover, just like popping acne can cause scars, scrubbing acne-prone skin can also leave behind more scars. Hence, it is a better idea to just wash your face with plain water or soap and not scrub it too much as it can cause more harm than good.

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#2. Use medications after doctor’s consultation

Usually, the treatment plan for acne includes the use of medications. There are two types of medications which include topical creams/gels and oral medications. Your doctor might recommend the use of topical creams and gels if acne is few in number. There are numerous oral medications which are used to treat acne depending upon the cause of the acne. 

For example, antibiotics, which help to treat bacteria, are recommended if the underlying cause of acne is a bacterial infection. However, it is advised to not use antibiotics without consulting your doctor as overuse of antibiotics can make it ineffective to treat the condition and may cause antibiotic resistance in the long run.

The other commonly recommended medicine for acne is retinoids. These are the type of oral medicines which act on the sebaceous glands, the oil-producing glands. These medications not only reduce the production of oil by the sebaceous glands but also reduce the size of the oil glands, thereby helping to treat acne. Excessive oil production is one of the common causes of acne. However these medications shall be taken ONLY under expert guidance of a doctor as they carry significant side effects.

The use of oral medications and topical creams, in some cases might be recommended. Hence, it is always advised to discuss with your doctor about the use of medications and not self-medicate when it comes to treating acne. Also, speak to your dermatologist as he is the right person to prescribe medications and instruct you on the use of anti-acne gels and creams which are commonly available in the market. 

#3. Stick to a proper skincare routine

The last but the most important step to treat acne is to follow a strict skincare routine. This is because cleansing your face and using medications can help you to treat acne but a proper skin care ritual can help to prevent acne. Hence, once acne is treated, the next step is to follow precautions to keep acne away. This includes the use of skin care products and cosmetics that do not cause acne. 

Moreover, the use of medications that prevent recurrence of acne is also advised. Your doctor might recommend 2 common types of medications namely benzoyl peroxide and topical retinoids. Both these medications are anti-acne and prevent reoccurrence of the acne. To know in detail about the skin care products and anti-acne products, you can get in touch with a local dermatologist and follow the skin care instructions to the the for desired results.

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Here are a few more tips that can help in acne treatment at home:

-If your doctor has recommended you any treatment plan for acne, it is important to give it some time for the treatment to show effective results. Usually, it is advised to wait for at least a month to see if a new acne product is useful or not.

-If acne treatment works, you might notice some improvement in your skin condition within 4-6 weeks. It might take more than three months for the skin to clear up.

-Do not use a new acne product every week as it can irritate the skin and cause fresh breakouts on the skin, making it difficult to treat the condition.

-If using an anti-acne product or medication, do ask your doctor about how to use the product, how much to use and how often to use it for an effective outcome. Asking these simple questions to your doctor can make a huge difference in the outcome.

-Lastly, when using acne medication, it is important to spread the medication on all acne-prone skin and not only on the blemishes. It is a good idea to apply a thin layer on your acne-prone skin to treat the existing acne and prevent new breakouts.

(The article is reviewed by Dr. Swati Mishra, Medical Editor)

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