This Is How to Treat Every Type of Acne

Acne is the most common skin problem in the United States, with about 40-50 million sufferers at a given time. Here are the treatments dermatologists recommend for every type of acne.


Skin irritation after shaving. Man's hands squeeze pimples on the chin. Closeup chin, lips.Vadim Zakharishchev/Shutterstock

One of the more recognizable types of acne, whiteheads occur when a thin layer of skin covers a pore clogged with dead cells or debris, creating a white, round bump on the skin, explains Joel Schlessinger, MD, a dermatologist and RealSelf contributor. While they can be caused by a variety of factors, the most common include a buildup of oil, dead skin cells, and hormonal changes. Whatever you do, resist the urge to pop them, as doing so can spread acne-causing bacteria and may even result in scarring, warns Dr. Schlessinger. The best way to treat whiteheads is to keep the area around them free of bacteria and dead skin cells. Most whiteheads naturally go away in about a week, but if they don’t Dr. Schlessinger recommends cleansing in the morning and evening with a facial cleanser containing salicylic and glycolic acid, like the LovelySkin LUXE Clarifying Gel Cleanser. Learn about anti-aging secrets derms won’t tell you for free.


many blackhead pimples on the nose - close upNau Nau/Shutterstock

Similar to whiteheads, Dr. Schlessinger explains that blackheads are caused by clogged pores and excess oil production due to hormonal changes. “While whiteheads get their appearance from the layer of skin covering the pore, blackheads are left uncovered and exposed to air, which causes their dark appearance,” he says. “Though extractors can be used to remove the plug that causes a blackhead, this should be left to trained skin care professionals and dermatologists to avoid the spread of bacteria.” He recommends using an over-the-counter retinol or stronger, prescription-strength retinoid which will help encourage cell turnover and prevent pores from getting clogged with dead skin cells and oil in the first place. Here are 5 skin-care ingredients you should never mix—and 4 you should.

T-zone acne

Closeup young girl woman with the mask on her t-zone remove acne blackheads.Problem skin care concept. DUANGJAN JITMART/Shutterstock

One of the more common types of acne, which tends to show up across the forehead, nose, chin in a T-shape formation, is typically caused by pollution and most often produces red zits and whiteheads. “Whiteheads are typically what is found on the t-zone area so over-the-counter products that contain salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, such as ProactivMD Deep Cleansing Wash, and retinoid should clear this type of acne,” says Dendy Engelman, MD, a dermatologist at Manhattan Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery. Check out things you should never, ever do to your skin.

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