How can I prevent acne from getting worse?

You can help prevent acne from getting worse by gently washing your face twice a day with warm water and a mild soap. This will help remove dead skin cells and excess oil that is clogging pores. Avoid hard scrubbing, harsh soaps or alcohol-based products. They may irritate your skin and make acne worse. If your hair is oily, try washing it every day.

Try to avoid exposure to grease, such as working around frying foods. Also stay away from pore-clogging cosmetics or hair products.

It may be tempting to squeeze the pus out of pimples. Keep in mind that picking or squeezing pimples usually causes more swelling and redness. It actually pushes the infection deeper into your skin.

Friction from athletic gear, bike helmets, backpacks, or tight collars can cause acne to flare up, especially if you sweat. It may help to shower after any activity that causes heavy sweating.

Last Updated: February 27, 2009

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