Acne can make you self-conscious and inhibited, but it doesn't have to rule your life. Acne is simply caused by excess oil clogging your pores and trapping dirt and bacteria, which causes inflammation, or acne. Preventing the oil from clogging your pores is the first step in treating your acne. However, even if you have the best pore-cleansing routine possible, you'll probably still experience a breakout every once in a while. And if you do, there are steps you can take to clear things up and get your confidence back pronto.
Keep tabs on your hormones. Hormones play a role in your body's oil production. Excess hormones can lead to excess oil production -- that's why women often get acne around their menstrual cycle or during pregnancy. By keeping your hormones balanced through birth control pills, you can regulate your production of oil. Less oil production means less opportunity for clogged pores. Consult with your physician to determine the best option for you.
Keep your skin clean. One way to keep your excess oil from clogging your pores is to wash it away. Washing also gets rid of dirt and bacteria that can get caught in those clogged pores and cause acne. However, don't overdo it. If you dry out your skin with too much washing, it will cause your body to produce more oil to compensate for the dry skin, and you're right back where you started. Limit your washing to twice a day, and use a mild cleanser that won't irritate your skin. You can also exfoliate your skin to get rid of dead skin cells, which can clog pores, as well.
Be aware of what you're putting on your skin. Use oil-free, noncomedogenic (won't clog pores) makeup and lotions. You can also use over-the-counter and prescription creams and lotions containing benzoyl peroxide that can kill bacteria that cause acne. They are quite common, and you can easily find them. Be sure to follow the directions on the product to avoid irritating your skin.
Consult with your dermatologist. If you have stubborn acne, you may need to get a prescription to fight your breakout. Your doctor may prescribe a prescription-strength antibiotic lotion like clindamycin or erythromycin, or you may need to take oral antibiotics. Follow your doctor's directions when taking prescribed medications.