This includes over the counter treatments and those prescribed by your general practitioner or dermatologist.
It’s best to apply these after your skin has completely dried following cleansing (if it’s applied to moist skin it’s more likely to cause irritation).
You’ll get the greatest benefit if you apply your acne cream, gel and/or lotion to the entire skin region where you normally develop pimples. This is because these treatments also help to prevent new pimples from forming. So, don’t just use these to treat the visible spots, unless a health professional tells you otherwise.
Be careful not to apply these treatments to sensitive skin areas (which are not usually affected by acne) such as the skin immediately around your eyes, lips and nostrils.
It’s important to follow the instructions for applying these treatments.
Don’t give up on a new treatment routine until you’ve given it a fair go!
This should normally be for a minimum of six weeks for products containing salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, antibiotics, Duac (benzoyl peroxide + antibiotic) and/or three months for retinoids such as Differin, Epiduo (benzoyl peroxide + retinoid), Retin A, Retrieve, Stieva A and Zorac.
Don’t use too much of the treatment. Most should only be applied sparingly. Applying more than directed will not help your skin get better faster and may lead to new visible problems such as irritated looking skin.
When your acne flares, don’t be tempted to squeeze – it will only make things worse! There are now products (including ones containing ingredients listed above) that are proven to start improving acne within 4-8 hours of their application.
Last updated March 2016