Fighting Pimples with Over-the-Counter Remedies

While most people associate pimples with puberty, the truth is pimples can strike any time at any age. In fact, adult acne is almost as common as acne that occurs during puberty. It can strike in the 20s, 30s, 40s and beyond. Many people are willing to try almost anything to get rid of pimples. Fortunately there are many over-the-counter remedies you can try that are often safe and effective for eliminating occasional bouts of acne, whether a teen or an adult with acne.

Simple Steps To Help Cure Acne
Acne can pop up at the most untimely occasions. A wedding for example. Any time where you are under excessive stress may contribute to acne. Women are also more likely to get pimples during pregnancy because of rapid variations in hormones. Excessively greasy cosmetics or oily skin may also be to blame. Some people also have a genetic tendency toward more pimples. Take a look at your mother and grandmother's skin. Chances are you might start seeing some similarities as you age. The most often used over-the-counter products for fighting pimples include:
  • Salicylic Acid

  • Sulfur

  • Benzoyl Peroxide

  • Resorcinol
Most over-the-counter products are mild enough that almost anyone can use them. Some come in the form of a topical astringent while others come as a cream. You should know that no over-the-counter product would produce magical or instant results. Even with a cream or ointment, you will probably have to weight a few days before you see any improvement. Some over-the-counter products for treating acne may take several weeks before they start to work effectively.

Of course there are practical steps you can also take to help reduce your risk for an outbreak. These include:
  • Eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables.

  • Consider a multivitamin and mineral supplement.

  • Be sure you are getting enough essential fatty acids and vitamin E in your diet, which can help promote your skin's health.

  • Drink plenty of water. Remember toxins are excreted from your skin among other places. It is important you drink enough water to prevent build up of pore clogging materials in the body.

  • Wash your face with cool water twice per day.

  • Avoid excessively greasy make up. Look for products that are noncomedogenic.

  • Always remove your make up before going to bed. This is worth repeating. Wearing make up to bed is like a prescription for pimples.

  • Avoid heavy moisturizers if your skin is already oily. There are multiple products on the market specifically designed for oily skin. This goes for foundations too. You'll want to try something light rather than a matte version of your favorite foundation.

  • Consider a monthly pore refreshening facial, or do one yourself using an over-the-counter pore-cleansing mask.

  • Use only mild facial soaps and products.

  • Avoid scrubbing your face, as this can inflame already irritated skin.

  • Consider using an over-the-counter toner to help reduce oil build up and help tone the skin. Remember that some toners can also dry out the skin, so you may have to use a light moisturizer after toning. Toners usually contain a combination of ingredients like glycolic or salicylic acids to help prevent acne outbreaks.

  • Consider a product that removes make up. Sometimes soap and water aren't enough to do the trick. Most make up removers are also more mild than soap and water, thus are less irritating to your skin.
You can try applying a cover up for rare occasions, but remember the more you put on your pimple, the longer it is likely to hang around.

When Over-the-Counter Remedies Don't Work
If you have severe acne, you should consult with your dermatologist about your treatment choices. Most severe forms of acne won't respond to many over the counter measures. You acne may result from a hormonal imbalance, genetics, bacteria in the skin or other factors. Your dermatologist will help evaluate your condition and recommend the best treatment choices for you. Some typical medical approaches include:
  • Topical antimicrobials or oral antibiotics - these are usually prescribed for inflamed acne resulting from bacterial or other infections.

  • Topical retinoids - like antimicrobials and antibiotics, these help with inflammation and flare-ups.

  • Sprionolactone - this helps inhibit your skins production of oil and helps lower the levels of androgen in the body. This can help reduce severe flair ups.

  • Birth control or hormone pills - these can help reduce the levels of androgen in some women, particularly those with PCOS or women who have acne problems around the time of their period.
Remember, whether 15 or 40, acne is a problem that affects all women at some point in their life. Fortunately armed with knowledge, you can take steps to help prevent or minimize your breakouts and lead a happy, healthy life. Don't forget to talk to your doctor if you suffer from severe acne. Your doctor or dermatologist can work with you to develop a treatment plan targeting your specific condition.