I have been suffering from acne and pimples for the past three years. Kindly help.

Q. How to get rid of chronic acne and pimples?

Answered by
Dr. Ashwini. V. Swamy
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Apr 26, 2023 and last reviewed on: Sep 22, 2023

Hello doctor,

I have been suffering from acne and pimples for the past three years.

Kindly help.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

Thank you for your query

I understand your concern. Treatment for acne depends on the grade of acne, I will have to assess your grade of acne to suggest any medication. Can you please attach your clinical pictures? Let me give you some information regarding acne.

  1. Acne is a disorder of the pilosebaceous unit, pilo-hair, and sebaceous-oil-producing gland. These pilosebaceous glands are densely distributed over the face, neck, chest, back, shoulder, and arms. It also has a genetic component, meaning the appearance or severity of acne depends on the genes of the parents.
  2. The sebaceous gland produces oil, that is expelled out through the duct which opens on the skin's surface.
  3. As long as this duct is intact, oil flows freely out onto the skin. If there is any blockage in the duct, the oil cannot come out, then it starts irritating the surrounding skin and causes comedones (black and white heads).
  4. Our skin has a commensal harmless bacteria, called propionibacterium acne (P acne). These bacteria act on the oil collected inside, causing inflammation leading to red bumps, pustules, cysts, or nodules as it progresses. If acne is not treated on time, it will leave scars.
  5. Hormones have a strong effect on acne, increased androgen hormone can cause thickening of the wall of the duct, leading to its blockage causing comedones (black and white heads). PCOD or PCOS - polycystic ovarian disease or syndrome, is the most frequent hormonal disease causing acne in teenagers as well as adult women.
  6. Environmental factors.
  7. Hot and humid climates, causing increased sweat, can clog the pores. The application of oil or oil-based cosmetics or steroid cream is another cause of acne. Psychological stress is one of the important factors in acne.

Yet I would like to mention a few general acne skin care tips here:

  1. Wash your face with mild cleansers if your face is dry, or use Benzoyl peroxide face wash if your face is oily. Wash your face three times a day to remove excess oil and dust which accumulates over time on the face.
  2. Use a good sunscreen with SPF 50, and apply it to the whole face 30 minutes before you step out irrespective of the presence of sunlight. UV rays will always be there during day hours (even if cloudy). Apply every four hours for maximum benefits. This is because sunscreen can protect your skin from UV rays for 4 hours. Hence you need to repeat it every 4 hours. Always use non-comedogenic sunscreen.
  3. Picking acne will leave dark pigmentation and scars, which are even more difficult to treat.
  4. Exercise is essential to keep hormones under check. Exercise for at least 40 minutes a day, 6 days a week.
  5. Avoid oil massage to the scalp, it will aggravate dandruff. If there is oil flow on the facial skin, it can clog the pores leading to comedones.
  6. Eat vitamin A-rich fruits and vegetables like papaya, mango, musk melon, pumpkin, carrot, and beetroot - these have beta carotene in them, a good antioxidant- very much helpful for healthy skin. Drink 12 to 15 glasses of water per day, this keeps the skin hydrated.
  7. Always use water-based cosmetics, which have the “non-comedogenic” label on them.
  8. Stress (mental as well as physical) causes acne breakouts. Meditation is very helpful for controlling mental stress.
  9. Waxing irritates hair follicles and can aggravate pimples. However, threading to remove unwanted hairs over the face is fine. Threading has no effect on acne.
  10. Steroid causes very bad acne, it makes the skin very thin and sensitive. Avoid over the counter (OTC) steroid creams like Betnovate.

Kindly consult a specialist, talk to them, and take medications with their consent.

I hope this has helped you. Thank you.

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