Self-help measures

  • Use a mild facial cleanser morning and evening and whenever you become sweaty. Avoid scrubbing the face, as this can make the acne worse.
  • Avoid squeezing or picking pimples as this will make them worse and may cause scarring.
  • Use water-based moisturizers rather than oil-based products.
  • Aim to eat a healthy balanced diet. If you notice that a particular food makes your acne flare up, try to avoid it.
  • Drink plenty of water and exercise regularly.
  • Avoid exposing your skin to too much cold, heat and sunlight. Exposure to sun can improve acne in about 60% of people but the use of tanning beds or lamps is not advised due to the long-term risks of sun damage and skin cancer. Humid weather may worsen the acne due to excess sweating.
  • Long hair may irritate acne; tying it back may help.

Further Information
National Institutes of Health:
Talk Acne Internet:

Last Reviewed: May 2013