Rx Spot Treatments
These spot treatments work similarly to their drugstore counterparts—you apply them directly to zits, but dermatologist-prescribed potions pack a stronger punch. Some, like Acanya or Epiduo, contain antibiotics, which get rid of the bacteria that cause inflammation. Others, like Differin or Atralin, contain an ingredient called tretinoin, which dries up excess oil under the skin to make acne go away.
If you’re not into applying a messy cream every night, ask your dermatologist about an oral medication, like Minocycline, Doryx or Solodyne. Like antibiotic-based spot treatments, these pills clear up skin by knocking out the bacteria that cause acne. The downside: they may also cause headaches or stomach aches.
If your mug could use some serious exfoliation, ask your doctor to recommend an esthetician who has experience with this in-office procedure. Peels improve skin’s tone and texture—and we promise, they’re not just for middle-aged women. Here’s what goes down during your appointment: A chemical solution is applied to skin with a sponge or brush. Your face may sting a bit, but the goop works in about 10 minutes and is then washed away.
Prefer an au natural approach to battling breakouts? Tea tree oil dries up the excess oil that leads to acne. You can make your own paste by combining tea tree oil (you can find it in a health food store), distilled water, olive oil, and liquid lecithin (also found in health food stores).
What NOT to do: Picking at or popping pimples is not the answer—it actually damages skin cells and can cause even more inflammation or scarring.