There are a lot of myths about preventing and getting rid of acne, says Dr. Hillary Baldwin, associate professor of dermatology at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center.
People think pimples won't show up if they wash their face regularly, or they think they can solve the problem by squeezing the acne. Others believe that over-the-counter drugs are the solution.
Over-the-counter drugs actually dry out your skin. "It's best to use a topical medication like Retin-A to kill the bacteria behind the plug," says Baldwin. Retin-A is a derivative of vitamin A that is administered by prescription in cream, gel or liquid form.
People with more serious acne could try using oral medications such as birth control pills or Accutane, which is also derived from vitamin A. Accutane, however, is not for everyone because it has been known to cause birth defects.
To control acne, Balwin recommends using products that are labeled "noncomedogenic" or "nonacnegenic," because they will not clog pores. She also says it's important to clean skin gently, avoid squeezing or picking at a pimple, avoid suntanning and to shave carefully.
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