Health Watch — Best Face Forward: Treating Acne

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about putting your best face forward — what you can do to make your face look its best. That can be a challenge for those who have acne.

When you’ve got breakouts, the instinct is to scrub them away, but Dr. Erin Welch, a dermatologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says that’s a bad idea because acne isn’t caused by dirt, and too much scrubbing will only irritate the skin, making the acne worse. Instead, wash your face no more than twice a day, and use a medicated product containing either salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. These help slough off dead skin cells and keep pores from becoming clogged. You can find products with these ingredients over the counter, but if they don’t help, you may need to see a dermatologist for more intensive treatment. Whatever you do, don’t pick at or squeeze pimples. 

Visit to learn more about
UT Southwestern’s clinical services in dermatology. 


April 2008

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