Treating pimples

Thankfully, there is a lot you can do about your pimples. Ask your mom or dad to take you to the store to look for acne medicine. There are many products you can buy that work. But you need to be patient. It can take six to eight weeks for treatment to work. Stick with it. If your face doesn't look better after 10 weeks, try something new.

Check out the labels on acne medicine. You'll probably see these big words on some of them. Here's what a few of them mean:

  • Benzoyl peroxide: This is the most common pimple medicine and comes in lotions, gels, cleansers, creams and washes. It kills bacteria and gets rid of some of the oil and dead skin cells. Be careful where you apply it. It can take the color out of your clothes and hair. 
  • Salicylic acid: It helps unplug pores.

There's also other stuff out there to treat your pimples that might work. You might hear about herbal and natural treatments, but so far there's no proof that they work.

When you use acne medicine:

  • Follow the directions on the package carefully.
  • Don't use more than the directions say. Don't use it more often. If you use too much, it can really dry your skin and make it red. Then you won't want to use it at all!
  • Avoid picking the skin or “popping” pimples, which could make acne worse or result in scars.

If the treatment works, keep using it, even if your pimples are gone. If you stop, your pimples might come back.

If none of the products you can buy at the store work, it's time to see a skin doctor for a stronger treatment. Have your mom or dad find a skin doctor near you and make an appointment. Your parents can learn more about pimples and how to make an appointment for you to see a skin doctor by visiting the Dermatology A to Z page  Acne.

Next: Helping stop pimples.