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How To Remove Acne: Why It's a Long-Term Commitment

Medically reviewed by Martha Juco, MD · Aesthetics

Written by Hello Doctor Medical Panel · Updated Mar 29

    How To Remove Acne: Why It's a Long-Term Commitment

    Managing acne is sometimes frustrating, especially when medications don’t work right away, or acne recurs. You may wonder how to get rid of forehead pimples, or what is the best method for how to remove acne. And as a result, you may try out a variety of medications. But acne removal and management is a long-term commitment.

    Here’s why it’s important to stick to your chosen treatment for your acne situation.

    How To Remove Acne: Treatment Takes Time

    While acne is not usually a debilitating health condition1, it brings inconvenience to our daily lives and affects our self-image and self-esteem2.

    As a result, we may wonder how to remove acne or how to get rid of forehead pimples. Among the most widely-used over the counter acne medications include benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. Dermatologists can also prescribe other medications including gels, pills, and creams5

    However, because we may be impatient when it comes to acne removal, we might be tempted to try one product, and then switch it out for another one when it doesn’t immediately work. 

    However, changing products may cause more harm than good. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, changing skincare products every week or more can result in skin irritation which can lead to further acne problems.3

    How To Remove Acne: Proper Acne Treatment

    There are newer combination products which are available in the market that are effective and only need to be applied once a day. These can help improve your treatment compliance and are an effective method for how to stop pimples coming on face at home. You may ask your dermatologist for these topical anti-acne products.  It is important to consistently use the same product for six to eight weeks3. Some products may also cause your skin to purge. Skin purging is a temporary reaction to specific ingredients. You may experience breakouts, dryness or flaking of the skin, and/or peeling. This occurrence does not necessarily mean that the product you are using is harmful or ineffective. Significant clearing of the skin may occur in three to four months.

    If you’re wondering how to remove pimples naturally and permanently, it is also important to apply acne medication correctly. Instead of applying the product only to your visible blemishes, try spreading the medication across the area of your acne-prone skin3. For instance, if you are wondering how to get rid of forehead pimples and pimples on your chin, you may only apply medication to the blemishes on your forehead and chin. However, it is better to apply acne medication across your entire face. This allows the medication to prevent new breakouts as well as address the current one. 

    Acne Prevention

    In addition to using acne treatment with the correct application and proper duration, here are some things you can do to prevent acne and manage breakouts:

    1. Wash your face twice a day with lukewarm water4

    Washing your skin can help remove dead skin cells and excess skin oil that can clog your pores5. This is especially important after perspiring, as sweat may clog the pores and make acne worse.

    2. Use gentle alcohol-free products4

    Avoid products that may irritate your skin. Certain astringents, exfoliants, and toners may cause your skin to dry and redden, which may make the appearance of acne worse.

    3. Don’t pop your pimples4

    Avoid picking or popping your acne, as this may make acne worse, and increases the risk of swelling, redness, and acne scarring5. It helps to avoid touching the affected area, as repeated touching may also cause irritation.

    4. Avoid the sun4

    Some acne medications may make the skin more sensitive to ultraviolet radiation. It helps to stay indoors, or to keep your skin covered up with long, loose clothing. 

    5. Talk to your dermatologist

    When considering how to remove acne, it is best to talk to a professional.

    Your dermatologist is the best person to consult when it comes to understanding how best to manage your acne. They may prescribe medications to help you clear your skin. However, it is important to finish the entire treatment duration, even if your skin clears, in order to avoid recurrences and further breakouts5.

    If symptoms persist, consult your doctor.

    Suffering from acne? Try our acne severity screener and our acne scarring risk screener, and get connected to a dermatologist.

    Please click here to send your questions or concerns. Foods, Drugs, Devices and Cosmetics Act prohibits dispensing of ethical or prescription medicines without prescription. For suspected adverse drug reaction, report to the FDA at

    Learn more about Acne here.


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Martha Juco, MD


    Written by Hello Doctor Medical Panel · Updated Mar 29

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