How to Clear a Break Out

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Clear up breakouts for smooth, healthy skin.
Clear up breakouts for smooth, healthy skin. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Acne, like bad weather, always seems to pop up at the most inconvenient times. When pimples attack, you might rather hide at home than face the world until the invasion clears up. If you're plagued by a breakout, you don't need to let it control your life. By treating your skin and body right, you'll watch those pimples vanish in record time.

Things You'll Need

  • Facial wash
  • Mild soap

Avoid picking at or popping pimples. Doing so irritates your skin and makes acne worse. It can also cause scarring and infection.

Treat breakouts with a facial wash containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Don't over-apply these products, since they may dry out your skin.

Wash your face every morning and night with mild soap, and don't scrub. Rubbing your skin irritates pimples and can make them more visible.

Change your pillowcase every night. When you sleep, oil from your face and neck transfers to your pillowcase. If you sleep on an oily pillowcase, breakouts will take longer to clear up.

Forgo using skin-care products that contain petroleum or mineral oil. These will clog your pores and make healing acne more difficult. Other ingredients to avoid include SD alcohol 40, sodium or ammonium lauryl sulfate, synthetic colorants and isopropyl palmitate.

Drink at least 12 glasses of water per day to keep your skin hydrated.

Avoid covering pimples with pore-clogging foundation and other makeup. If you must hide a breakout, use a concealer that contains salicylic acid.

Tips & Warnings

  • Processed and fried foods may contribute to the development of acne.
  • See a dermatologist or doctor if you can't get rid of your acne. They can help you determine the cause of your breakouts and give you prescription-strength treatments, such as retinoids or topical antibiotics.
  • Possible causes of acne include emotional stress, humidity, onset of menstruation and iodine-based drugs.

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