What's the best way to reduce pimples?

. 2 min read

When it comes to the best ways to reduce your pimples there are multiple steps you can take. Something as simple as washing your face with the right face wash will help, particularly in younger individuals with high physical activity. Oily skin needs to be washed more often, since the oil build up is quick. Rough handling or using scrubs and exfoliation aren’t usually needed, and can sometimes worsen inflammation. With the right face wash for your particular skin, gently washing your face at least twice a day – and once again if you’ve been sweating or exercising – is usually enough.

Sometimes washing with face washes which are for pimples can leave your skin dry. It is important to not overload the skin with oily moisturizers that clog the pores – this can often lead to even worse cases. Opt for lighter hydrating products, which are ” non-comedogenic” or non-acne forming and also come in matte form, which prevents product pile up, but still provides adequate sun protection. It’s always advisable to make sure you get the right advice regarding which products to use, from a qualified dermatologist.

Newer studies have also shown a direct correlation between what we eat, how it is metabolized, and how our lifestyle choices will impact your acne or pimples. Since it has a hormonal aspect, it will always be affected by diet and metabolism. Adult acne is completely hormonal, and dependant to a great deal on lifestyle. Correction of PCOS (polycistic ovarian syndrome) is critical – it is often a major cause of acne in adults. Diet control and exercise will also help. If your condition doesn’t settle down through this treatment, it is imperative to do a hormonal check for imbalance (if you’re a woman), especially if it is associated with irregular menses, facial hair, or obesity.

Medical treatment options for pimples can be either topical (e.g. creams, lotions), or oral (tablets). Depending on the grade / severity of the acne, one or more treatment options can be combined:

  • Mild acne with only clogging, blackheads, and whiteheads will need topical treatment like bacteriostatic and anti-comedogenic agents like Benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid and topical retinoids
  • Moderate conditions can be treated with topical antibiotics like clindamycin, dapsone and Benzoyl peroxide
  • Moderate to severe cases will often need additional oral antibiotics such as azithromycin, doxycycline and minocycline
  • Severe cystic acne requires longer courses of antibiotics and / or oral retinoids. It may also need procedures like drainage of cysts, steroid injections in the cyst or surgery for revision of scars
Procedures like chemical peels, lasers, and lights can always be used in addition at any stage of acne, to improve the treatment. Remember, however, that any treatment for acne should only be undertaken on the advice of a dermatologist.