How to get rid of acne

rid of acne

If you’re living with acne you may find that the symptoms - oily skin, spots and redness – can make you feel unhappy and insecure about your appearance. But they don’t need to, the good news is that there are plenty of ways to tackle acne, and in some cases get rid of it all together.

Our guide to getting rid of acne and acne scarring.

1. Start a simple skincare regime

In people with acne, the skin produces too much oil and this blocks the hair follicles naturally found on your face, causing spots to develop. While acne spots are not caused by being unclean, setting up a skincare regime that involves daily cleansing and moisturising can help treat your symptoms.

The key to a skincare regime for skin affected by acne is to keep things simple. Cleansing your skin is essential for removing dead skin, dirt and makeup. However, you shouldn’t wash your face more than twice a day, as this can irritate, damage and dry out the skin. It’s best to use mild cleansers, rather than harsh soaps, and to wash your face in lukewarm water.

After you’ve washed your face you should pat your skin dry and apply a moisturiser that is designed for acne-prone skin. Moisturising your skin will help keep your skin soft and supple, and reduce soreness and inflammation. A good moisturiser for acne-prone skin is one that is water-based and hypoallergenic, such as Dermalex Acne Moisturiser. Containing no perfume, Dermalex Acne Moisturiser can restore your skin to optimal health, helping to combat acne symptoms while moisturising your skin.

You’ll find all kinds of cosmetic skincare products catering for acne-prone skin, including toners, serums, and face masks in your local pharmacy. These products commonly contain ingredients such as nicotinamide/niacinamide, azelaic acid, retinol, salicylic acid and glycolic acid.

These ingredients can be beneficial for people with acne, as they have exfoliating, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. However, if you use too many products on your skin you risk irritating it and making your symptoms worse.

If your skincare products or acne medication contain benzoyl peroxide or retinoids you should make sure you wear a non-comedogenic sunscreen, as these ingredients can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight.

You may be looking for more product recommendations and more advice, this is where our pharmacy team can help, visit your local store today to browse our range of skincare products.

2. Switch to non-comedogenic make-up

If you have acne, you might find that wearing makeup helps with your confidence and makes you feel better. However, some of the products you’re using and the way you are applying them might be contributing to your symptoms.

Water-based products that are labelled as non-comedogenic are ideal for people with acne. “Non-comedogenic” means that the product does not block the skin and lead to spots developing.

3. Never pick or squeeze your spots

The cardinal rule with acne is that you should never squeeze, scratch or pick at your spots. It can be difficult to resist this urge, but the problem is that squeezing spots can cause damage to the skin, leading to infections and even lasting scars.

4. Use medicated over-the-counter products

Not all cases of acne require a trip to the doctors. If your symptoms are fairly mild, you can start by visiting a pharmacy or using the LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor free acne assessment. These services can help to determine the right products and course of treatment for you.

A pharmacist can recommend some over-the-counter treatments for acne containing nicotinamide (e.g. Freederm) or benzoyl peroxide (e.g. Acnecide).

5. Speak to a doctor about your acne

If you’ve found that over-the-counter products have no effect on your acne, you should speak to a doctor. There are a number of different prescription treatments that can be used to improve acne symptoms, including:

  • Topical retinoids
  • Topical antibiotics
  • Azelaic acid
  • Antibiotic tablets
  • The combined contraceptive pill
  • Isotretinoin tablets

In many cases, the recommended treatment for moderate or severe acne is a combination of antibiotic tablets and topical treatments. Find out more about the acne treatments available in our guide here.

How can I get rid of acne scars?

Acne scarring can be difficult to tackle, and treatments are not usually available on the NHS. If you have mild scarring, it can be worth starting with a treatment such as Bio oil or our body care oil. These products are said to reduce the appearance of scarring while helping to treat uneven skin tone too.

If your acne scarring is more severe, you should get advice from your doctor on cosmetic procedures. It’s usually not possible to completely get rid of acne scars, but certain cosmetic procedures can help to improve their appearance.

Options for treating acne scarring include:

  • Gently removing the top layer of skin in a process known as dermabrasion
  • Using lasers to stimulate collagen production and plump up the skin
  • Using surgery to remove, lift and smooth out acne scars

What won’t help me get rid of my acne?

There are several common misconceptions that surround acne and its treatment. Many people claim that changing your diet to cut out certain foods will help reduce acne symptoms, however there is little scientific evidence to support these theories.

The same goes for claims about using sunbeds to improve the condition of your skin. Not only is there little evidence to suggest sunbeds can improve acne, using them can put you at risk of skin cancer. If you’re using certain acne medications that make you sensitive to sunlight, using a sunbed could seriously damage your skin.

If you read acne skincare tips on the internet that haven’t been written by a doctor, you should take them with a pinch of salt. When in doubt, consult your pharmacist or GP.


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