9 Ways Dermatologists Get Rid of Pimples

Good advice from the docs who know how to put a pimple in its place.

First: Survey what products you’re using

iStock/Diane Diederich

The first thing Diana Bolotin, MD, assistant professor and director of Mohs Micrographic Surgery at the University of Chicago, does is check out the product label on her face washes and moisturizers, especially if it’s a new product. Certain products contain chemicals that can make your skin break out. “Make sure that nothing snuck into your regiment that has a lot of oil,” Dr. Bolotin advises. Consider one of these surprising home remedies for ance.

Don’t pick!


Picked or popped pimples may leave acne scars behind, says Emily Arch, MD, a dermatologist at Dermatology + Aesthetics in Chicago. Though it may be hard, avoid picking and popping your pimples or white heads. You should also resist picking and popping and plucking these body parts too.

Choose a new cleanser


When people get a pimple breakout, their first instinct is to reach for a scrub or a product with a high astringent content. In reality, scrubs and astringents can worsen your pimples. “The way that your skin responds to that kind of irritation is to produce more oil because that forms a barrier to whatever is irritating,” Dr. Bolotin says. Look for ingredients in your cleanser like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, two ingredients Dr. Arch highly recommends. “[Benzoyl peroxide] has some anti-bacterial properties,” she says. “It also has some nice pore unclogging properties.”

Try different hair products


You love the way Argan oil makes your hair feel, but it could be the cause of your acne breakout. Dr. Bolotin says hair products can cause pimple breakouts because the oils often end up on the pillow when we go to sleep. All night, your face is lying in that oil. Try rinsing your hair before going to bed and change your pillowcases often to make sure you clean off all that oil. Hair that hangs against the forehead can also transfer oil from hair to skin. Dr. Arch says to pull it away from the face.

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