The wash that I use and recommend is the one on the right, Humane Benzoyl Peroxide 10% Acne Treatment Body & Face Wash. It is the strongest 10% benzoyl peroxide wash without a prescription, and it contains no parabens, fragrance, or animal testing. In my case, it helps not only with occasional butt pimples, but with keeping my face clear as well.
Just cutting out the damaging foods listed above will likely lead to clearer skin—especially if you were regularly consuming them before. But what if you’re already eating healthy? Are there certain foods that could give you the edge against acne? Research is in its earliest stages, but we do have some knowledge of particular foods that may help. Here are five of them:
Acne is a chronic condition and the most common skin problem in the United States.2 It affects both men and women, and can happen at any age.3 It is characterized by whiteheads, blackheads, and inflamed red pimples—all of which can go by the endearing term, “zits.”4,5
Once the spots have cleared, acne commonly flares up again if you stop treatment. Therefore, after the spots have gone or are much reduced, it is common to carry on with a maintenance treatment to prevent acne from flaring up again. It is common to need maintenance treatment for 4-5 years to keep acne away. This is typically until the late teens or early 20s. In a small number of cases, acne persists into the 30s, or even later. For these people it is possible to continue to treat the skin to keep it under control.
The ZIIT Method: Developed by the experts at Acne.org, this is a method you can use if you want to do everything you possibly can to prevent a zit from forming. It is not an all-over treatment. It combines Zinc, Ibuprofen, Ice, and Treatment (with 2.5% benzoyl peroxide plus 10% glycolic acid).
3. Aché hunter/gatherers of Paraguay: a study by researchers from the Colorado State University in 2002 showed that sugar, wheat and other high-glycemic foods were missing in the diet of these native tribes. As a result they have no acne when they consume this type of diet, which is very similar to the Kitivan Islanders of Papua New Guinea.
But know that the cheaper price point isn’t free of drawbacks. The Neutrogena kit misses the mark with its Skin Polishing Acne Cleanser. It’s the only product in the kit with salicylic acid, and you end up washing it all off anyway. A recent “formula improvement” in the acne control lotion has left customers leaving less-than-pleased comments on the Neutrogena website, too.
Doxycycline 50 – 100 mg, daily, for four to six months, is the first-line antibiotic choice (N.B. 50 mg tablets are not fully subsidised).6 If effective, the dose can be tapered after four months to alternate day treatment. If the standard dose of doxycycline is ineffective, increase to 100 mg, twice daily, provided it is tolerated. Doxycycline is contraindicated in children aged under 12 years and women who are pregnant.
Studies have come to no significant conclusions about the difference in effectiveness between the three, and they tend to be the most commonly prescribed birth control pills for acne in women that are at least 14 to 15 years old, need contraception, and have already started menstruating.
Our team of medical doctors, biology & chemistry PhDs, and acne experts work hand-in-hand with Dan (Acne.org founder) to provide the most complete information on all things acne. If you find any errors in this article, kindly use this Feedback Form and let us know.
Out of all of the drawbacks to the drug, the biggest hurdle for me was the monthly blood test. I have low blood pressure that causes me to routinely pass out after having my blood drawn, and just the sight of blood makes me queasy.
Call your doctor if you or your child has acne that is not controlled with over-the-counter washes or gels. Even small amounts of acne can be embarrassing and psychologically painful to young people. Acne can result in scarring.
If you have darker skin, that brown mark is going to be there for about six months before it starts lightening up. But we know you want it to go away faster. Dr. Bowe suggests using an at-home product with glycolic or salicylic acid to exfoliate the skin and help bring those dark skin cells to the surface. Or you can go to a dermatologist and get a glycolic acid peel to lighten up the dark spots.
Unwashed clothing and bedsheets play a direct role in sudden breakouts. Think about it—your skin comes in contact with your clothing and your bed every day. Wash your sheets at least once a week with a gentle skin-friendly detergent without any artificial colors or fragrance added. Washing your sheets will rid them of dead skin cells, sebum, dirt and debris. Pay special attention to clothing you wear often that build dirt and debris. If you notice acne breakouts on your mid-back, for you may need to wash your bra.
Long suspected to trigger acne, chocolate has received a pass until just recently. One small study from the Netherlands published in 2013 found a connection between chocolate and skin changes leading to acne. For the study, the scientists collected blood from seven healthy people before and after they ate 1.7 ounces of chocolate, each day, for four days.
Blackheads are, essentially, open comedones. “Comedone refers to plugging of the follicular opening,” explains NYC dermatologist Elizabeth Hale, M.D., referring to hair follicles that technically cover your entire face and body (hi, peach fuzz). “Every hair follicle appears in a sebaceous gland.” So a blackhead is the mixture of dead cells, bacteria, and grime that builds up and hardens in the follicular opening—but it’s open to the world, which is why blackheads are so easy (read: tempting) to push out.