Q. How to treat acne breakouts that started as tiny bumps on the forehead in a 21-year-old female?

Answered by
Dr. Sandhya Narayanan Kutty
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jan 15, 2023

Hi doctor,

I am a 21-year-old female, and I have had severe acne breakouts for a month now, but I still do not have any signs of fading. It is my first time having this kind of breakout because I do not usually have pimples. I do not have any medications prescribed by a doctor, but I am using a facial wash for acne, but so far, I do not have any signs that it works. It started with tiny bumps on my forehead and slowly became acne and started spreading on my cheeks and chin.

Please help.



Welcome to

I went through your query and understood your concern.

Acne is mainly caused due to hormonal fluctuations, as you are young and hormonal fluctuations are common, leading to changes in sebum secretion causing acne. Other causes like dietary factors, genetic susceptibility, climate changes, and underlying gynecological conditions like PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) may also lead to acne. Menstrual irregularities, unwanted facial hair growth, and hair fall may also accompany PCOS. So, I suggest you follow a few instructions mentioned below,

1. Use Cerave SA (Salicylic Acid) facial cleanser. Use it in the morning and at night. Apply a sufficient quantity and massage in gentle circular motions for one minute, and wash it off. Continue for a few months.

2. Use Duac (Clindamycin and Benzoyl Peroxide) 2.5 % gel. It can be used on acne spots in the morning after using the cleanser.

3. Apply Actreat (Clindamycin and Nicotinamide) gel. It can be applied at night on acne after using the cleanser.

4. Take a capsule of Doxycycline (antibiotic) 100 mg in the morning and at night after meals for seven days. This is an antibiotic; therefore, make sure there is no history of allergy to antibiotics before consuming the capsule.

5. Take a tablet of Pantoprazole (antacid) 40 mg 30 minutes before meals to avoid acidity due to antibiotics. Take this tablet for seven days.

6. Take a tablet of Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) 500 mg. It has to be consumed once daily after breakfast for one month. Kindly consult a specialist, talk with them and take the medications with their consent.

7. Kindly consult a gynecologist to rule out PCOS.

8. I suggest you undergo Glycolic Acid chemical peels. It is a procedure that is done at a dermatologist's clinic once every ten days for six sessions which helps with reducing acne.

9. Avoid consuming oily, fried food, sweets, red meat, milk, and dairy products.

10. Consume more fruits, vegetables, and fibers. In addition, consume ten glasses of water daily.

Acne may appear on and off depending on the internal and external factors mentioned above and may be managed with medications. But they will stabilize eventually as you grow older as sebum secretion stabilize.

I hope the details provided above were informative and provided clarity.

Take care.

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