What to Do with Acne: A Complete Guide


Millions of people all across the globe have problems with acne. In fact, this problem is so common that it often causes reduced self-esteem to some. When it is persistent, it can really be frustrating to deal with. It does not only affect our physical appearance but also our mental health.

Acne can manifest in various forms like pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, cysts, and many more. This article aims to cover the things you can do with acne, as well as the tips and tricks to avoid further breakouts.

What Causes Acne?

Before we discuss how you can deal with acne, it is vital to understand what causes it. Acne is a skin condition that affects hair follicles and oil glands. It occurs when follicles get clogged with oil and dead skin cells.

Hormones, bacteria, and inflammation play a significant role in acne development as they contribute to the overproduction of oil (sebum) in the skin. Acne vulgaris is the most common form of acne that affects individuals of all ages and genders.

How to Treat Acne with Over-The-Counter Medications?

Over-the-counter medications can help treat mild to moderate acne. Salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are some of the most commonly used over-the-counter acne medications.

  • Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid that exfoliates the skin and helps unclog pores. 
  • Benzoyl peroxide is an antimicrobial agent that targets and kills acne-causing bacteria.

These medications can be found in various forms, such as creams, lotions, or gels, and should be applied topically to the affected area.

When Should You See an Aesthetic Provider for Acne?

If your acne is severe or causing scarring, it’s essential to see an aesthetic provider or a dermatologist. A dermatologist can recommend prescription medications such as topical retinoids, antibiotics, or oral contraceptives that can help treat moderate to severe acne. An aesthetic provider can help customize a treatment plan that will not only cure acne but will also help prevent breakouts in the future.

In some cases, isotretinoin, a potent oral medication, may be prescribed. An aesthetic provider can also perform various procedures, such as chemical peels, dermabrasion, or laser therapy, to treat acne scarring.

How Can You Prevent Acne Breakouts?

Preventing acne starts with proper skincare.

  • Cleansing your face twice a day and using a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser is crucial in preventing breakouts.
  • Avoid using harsh scrubs or abrasive materials that can irritate the skin.
  • Also, avoid touching your face, as hands are a breeding ground for bacteria that can transfer to your skin.

Moreover, diet can play a significant role in preventing acne. High glycemic foods, such as white bread, pasta, and sugar, can increase inflammation and oil production, leading to breakouts. A balanced diet rich in whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins, can improve overall skin health and prevent acne breakouts.

How Can You Reduce Redness and Inflammation from Acne?

When dealing with acne, it’s common to experience redness and inflammation. Applying a cold compress to the affected area can help reduce inflammation and redness. Ice can also temporarily shrink the pores, preventing bacteria from entering.

Moreover, incorporating anti-inflammatory ingredients like niacinamide, green tea extract, or aloe vera can help reduce inflammation and redness. Products containing these ingredients can be applied topically to the affected area.

How Can You Address Acne Scarring?

Acne can leave scars that can affect an individual’s self-esteem. Fortunately, several options are available to treat acne scarring. Chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and laser therapy are some of the most common treatments for acne scarring. These treatments target the top layer of the skin, promoting collagen production, and delivering a smoother, more even complexion.


Dealing with acne can be frustrating, but with proper care and treatment, it’s possible to manage and prevent breakouts. Incorporating a skincare routine, adopting a balanced diet, and avoiding triggers can help prevent further breakouts.

Over-the-counter medications and prescription medications can also help treat acne, depending on the severity of the condition. If you’re experiencing severe or persistent acne, it’s essential to see a dermatologist for proper treatment and management. With a little effort and patience, it’s possible to achieve clear, healthy skin.

If you want to learn more or update your knowledge regarding acne and its management, attend a training and certification program. This way, you can provide your patients necessary education. ReplenishMD Training offers a robust learning system that allows you to learn more about acne and its management. We will help you take one step closer to your success.

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