How Do You Stop Pimples From Growing Again?

Have you ever had to deal with pesky pimples that seem to keep coming back? We’ve all been there. In this article, we will explore some effective methods on how to prevent pimples from reappearing and regain control over your skin. Whether you’re a teenager or an adult, these tips will help you keep those unwanted breakouts at bay and achieve clearer, healthier-looking skin. Say goodbye to those recurring pimples and hello to a fresh, glowing complexion. Let’s jump right in!

Understanding Acne

What causes acne?

Acne is a common skin condition that occurs when hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. The exact cause of acne is still not fully understood, but there are several factors that contribute to its development. Hormonal changes during puberty, menstrual cycles, or pregnancy can trigger acne. Excessive production of oil by the sebaceous glands, bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes, and inflammation also play roles in the formation of acne. Genetic factors can also influence the likelihood of developing acne.

Different types of acne

Acne can manifest in various forms, and recognizing the different types is crucial for effective treatment. The most common type is called acne vulgaris, which includes whiteheads, blackheads, papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts. Whiteheads occur when pores become blocked and appear as small, white bumps on the skin. Blackheads are similar but have a dark appearance due to oxidized oil and dead skin cells. Papules are inflamed red bumps, while pustules are papules filled with pus. Nodules are large and painful bumps beneath the skin’s surface, while cysts are deep, pus-filled lesions.

Why do pimples grow again?

It can be frustrating when pimples reappear even after they seem to have healed. Several reasons can contribute to the reoccurrence of pimples. One common factor is inadequate cleansing of the skin, which allows dirt, oil, and bacteria to build up. Hormones can also play a role, especially in women, as fluctuations in hormonal levels can lead to breakouts. Additionally, factors such as stress, poor diet, lack of sleep, and using comedogenic skincare products can contribute to the regrowth of pimples. It’s important to address these underlying factors to prevent pimples from growing again.

Maintaining a Healthy Skincare Routine

Cleansing your face

Properly cleansing your face is the foundation of a healthy skincare routine. Use a gentle cleanser formulated for your skin type, and wash your face twice a day – once in the morning and once before bed. Avoid using harsh soaps or scrubbing too vigorously, as this can irritate the skin and worsen acne. Cleansing removes dirt, oil, and impurities that can clog pores and contribute to acne breakouts.

Exfoliating regularly

Exfoliation is another important step in maintaining clear skin. It helps remove dead skin cells, unclog pores, and promote cell turnover. However, it’s essential to exfoliate gently to avoid irritating the skin. Choose a gentle exfoliator and use it no more than twice a week. Over-exfoliation can strip away natural oils and disrupt the skin’s barrier, leading to increased oil production and potential breakouts.

Using non-comedogenic skincare products

When selecting skincare products, opt for those labeled as non-comedogenic. These products are formulated to not clog pores, reducing the risk of acne formation. Look for moisturizers, sunscreen, and cosmetics that are oil-free and specifically designed for acne-prone skin. This way, you can hydrate and protect your skin without exacerbating existing acne or causing new breakouts.

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Moisturizing your skin

Contrary to popular belief, moisturizing is essential for all skin types, including oily and acne-prone skin. Using a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer helps maintain the skin’s natural moisture balance and prevents it from overcompensating by producing excess oil. Look for moisturizers containing ingredients such as hyaluronic acid or glycerin, which provide hydration without clogging pores.

Protecting your skin from the sun

Sun exposure can worsen acne and cause pigmentation issues, so protecting your skin from harmful UV rays is crucial. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher daily, even on cloudy days. Look for products labeled as non-comedogenic and make sure to apply sunscreen generously to all exposed areas of your face and body. Additionally, wearing a wide-brimmed hat and seeking shade during peak sun hours can provide extra protection.

Diet and Lifestyle Factors

Eating a balanced diet

The food you eat can have a significant impact on your skin’s health. Incorporate a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Foods high in refined sugars and carbohydrates, such as sodas, candies, and processed snacks, can potentially worsen acne. Some studies suggest that dairy products and high glycemic index foods may also contribute to acne breakouts in certain individuals. It’s best to observe how your skin reacts to different foods and make adjustments accordingly.

Avoiding triggers

Certain triggers can exacerbate acne breakouts, and identifying and avoiding them can help manage your skin condition. Common triggers include stress, hormonal changes, excessive sweating, and exposure to environmental pollutants. Though it’s not always possible to avoid these triggers completely, being mindful of their impact on your skin can help minimize breakouts.

Drinking plenty of water

Staying hydrated is essential for overall health, including skin health. Drinking an adequate amount of water helps flush toxins from the body and keeps the skin hydrated. Aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day, or more if you’re physically active or live in a hot climate. Proper hydration can contribute to clearer, more radiant skin.

Getting enough sleep

Adequate sleep is crucial for maintaining a healthy complexion. During sleep, the body repairs and regenerates cells, including skin cells. Lack of sleep can lead to increased stress levels, hormonal imbalances, and compromised immune function, all of which can trigger acne breakouts. Strive to get 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night to achieve optimal skin health.

Reducing stress levels

Stress can wreak havoc on your skin, causing acne flare-ups and other skin issues. Find healthy ways to manage stress, such as practicing relaxation techniques, exercising regularly, spending time in nature, or engaging in hobbies you enjoy. Taking care of your mental and emotional well-being can positively impact your skin by reducing stress-related breakouts.

Limiting alcohol and tobacco consumption

Excessive alcohol consumption and tobacco use can have detrimental effects on the skin. Alcohol dehydrates the skin and can exacerbate acne. Smoking, on the other hand, decreases blood flow to the skin, impairing its ability to heal and regenerate. Limiting alcohol consumption and avoiding tobacco products can help improve the overall health and appearance of your skin.

Avoiding Touching and Picking

Keeping hands off your face

Your hands come into contact with numerous bacteria and allergens throughout the day, and touching your face can transfer these impurities to your skin. Avoid touching your face unnecessarily, as it can introduce dirt and bacteria to your pores, leading to breakouts. Be conscious of this habit and try to avoid resting your chin or cheeks on your hands.

Avoiding popping or squeezing pimples

Resist the temptation to pop or squeeze your pimples. While it may be tempting to try to get rid of them quickly, this can lead to further inflammation, scarring, and the spread of bacteria. Instead, be patient and allow pimples to heal naturally. If you’re struggling with persistent or severe acne, consult a dermatologist for appropriate treatment options.

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Using clean tools for extractions

If you must extract a pimple, it’s important to do it safely to minimize the risk of infection and scarring. Cleanse the affected area and your hands thoroughly. Use a sterilized comedone extractor or cotton swabs wrapped in clean tissue to gently apply pressure around the pimple. Avoid using your nails or sharp objects, as this can cause more harm than good. After extraction, apply a topical antibacterial ointment and avoid touching the area to prevent further irritation.

Avoiding excessive scrubbing or rubbing

When washing your face, avoid using harsh scrubs or rubbing vigorously. This can irritate the skin, strip away its natural oils, and worsen acne. Instead, use gentle circular motions and a soft cloth or your fingertips to cleanse your face. Pat your skin dry with a clean towel instead of rubbing, as this reduces friction and potential irritation.

Keeping Hair and Scalp Clean

Washing hair regularly

Oily hair can contribute to acne breakouts, especially on the forehead and temples. Wash your hair regularly using a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo to keep oil and product buildup at bay. Avoid using heavy, greasy hair products that can clog pores and trigger acne. If you have bangs or long hair, pin them back or pull them away from your face to minimize contact between hair and skin.

Keeping hair away from the face

Avoid allowing your hair to come into contact with your face throughout the day. Hair carries oils and dirt, which can transfer to the skin and contribute to clogged pores. Tie back your hair, use hair accessories to keep it away from your face, or consider adopting hairstyles that don’t allow hair to fall onto your forehead or cheeks.

Avoiding greasy hair products

When choosing hair products, opt for those that are oil-free and won’t clog pores. Greasy hair products, such as pomades or heavy styling gels, can transfer onto the skin, leading to breakouts. Look for lightweight, water-based formulas specifically designed for acne-prone individuals. It’s also important to regularly clean your hairbrushes and other hair tools to prevent the buildup of oils and bacteria.

Managing Hormonal Factors

Consulting a healthcare professional

If hormonal imbalances are contributing to your acne, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional, such as a dermatologist or gynecologist. They can evaluate your hormonal levels, identify any underlying issues, and recommend appropriate treatment options.

Considering hormonal treatments

In certain cases, hormonal treatments may be recommended to manage acne related to hormonal fluctuations. These treatments can regulate hormonal imbalances and reduce acne breakouts. Common hormonal treatments for acne include oral contraceptives, anti-androgen medications, and spironolactone. It’s important to discuss the potential risks and benefits of these treatments with your healthcare provider to determine if they are suitable for you.

Using birth control methods

For individuals with hormonal acne, certain birth control methods can help regulate hormones and improve skin health. Combination birth control pills containing both estrogen and progestin can be effective in reducing acne breakouts. However, it’s crucial to discuss this option with your healthcare provider, who can guide you in selecting the most appropriate birth control method based on your individual needs and medical history.

Over-the-Counter Options

Using cleansers containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide

Over-the-counter cleansers containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide can be beneficial for acne-prone skin. Salicylic acid helps exfoliate the skin and unclog pores, while benzoyl peroxide has antimicrobial properties that can kill acne-causing bacteria. Start with a low concentration to assess your skin’s tolerance and gradually increase if needed. Be cautious not to overuse these products, as they can cause dryness and irritation.

Topical creams and gels for acne treatment

There are various topical creams and gels available without a prescription that can help treat acne. These products often contain ingredients such as retinoids, sulfur, or azelaic acid, which target acne-causing bacteria, reduce inflammation, and encourage cell turnover. Follow the instructions provided with the product and be consistent with your application to achieve the best results.

Using oil-free and non-comedogenic makeup products

Makeup can sometimes contribute to acne breakouts, but using oil-free and non-comedogenic products can minimize this risk. Look for cosmetics labeled specifically for acne-prone or sensitive skin. Avoid heavy, oil-based foundations and opt for lightweight, mineral-based alternatives. Remember to remove your makeup thoroughly before bed to allow your skin to breathe and repair.

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Prescription Medications

Topical retinoids

Topical retinoids are highly effective prescription medications for acne treatment. They work by unclogging pores, reducing inflammation, and promoting cell turnover. Common topical retinoids include adapalene, tretinoin, and tazarotene. These medications require a prescription from a healthcare professional and should be used as directed, as they can cause dryness, redness, and increased sensitivity to the sun.

Oral antibiotics

In cases of moderate to severe acne, oral antibiotics may be prescribed to reduce inflammation and kill acne-causing bacteria. Common antibiotics used in acne treatment include doxycycline, minocycline, and erythromycin. Oral antibiotics are typically used for a short period, and it’s essential to follow the prescribed dosage and duration. Prolonged use can lead to antibiotic resistance and disrupt the body’s natural bacterial balance.


Isotretinoin, commonly known as Accutane, is a potent oral medication used for severe acne that does not respond to other treatments. It works by reducing oil production, preventing clogged pores, and reducing inflammation. Due to its potential side effects and strict monitoring requirements, isotretinoin can only be prescribed by dermatologists who are registered with the iPLEDGE program. It’s crucial to understand the risks and benefits of isotretinoin and comply with all the necessary precautions and follow-up appointments.

Hormonal medications

For individuals with hormonal acne, hormonal medications may be prescribed to regulate hormone levels and manage breakouts. These medications can include oral contraceptives containing both estrogen and progestin or anti-androgen medications. The specific hormonal medication recommended will depend on the individual’s needs and medical history. It’s important to discuss the potential risks and benefits of these medications with a healthcare professional.

Professional Treatments

Chemical peels

Chemical peels involve applying a chemical solution to the skin, which causes exfoliation of the top layer and promotes skin regeneration. Chemical peels can help improve acne by unclogging pores, reducing inflammation, and minimizing the appearance of acne scars. However, they should only be performed by a trained professional who can determine the appropriate type and strength of chemical peel for your skin.


Microdermabrasion is a non-invasive procedure that uses a device to exfoliate the top layer of the skin, removing dead skin cells and unclogging pores. It can help improve the appearance of acne, reduce the severity of breakouts, and promote smoother skin texture. Multiple sessions may be required for optimal results, and it’s important to follow post-treatment care instructions provided by the professional.

Laser therapy

Laser therapy is a treatment option that uses concentrated light energy to target acne-causing bacteria, reduce inflammation, and stimulate collagen production. It can be effective in treating moderate to severe acne, reducing redness and improving the overall appearance of the skin. Laser therapy should be performed by a qualified professional, and the treatment plan will depend on the individual’s skin condition and response.

Extraction by a dermatologist

In some cases, professional extraction of acne lesions may be necessary to prevent scarring and expedite healing. A dermatologist can perform this procedure using sterile instruments to safely remove pimples or blackheads. It’s important to leave extractions to the professionals, as improper technique can cause further damage to the skin.

Photodynamic therapy

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a treatment option that combines a photosensitizing agent with visible light to target and kill acne-causing bacteria. PDT can also reduce oil production and minimize the appearance of acne scars. This treatment is typically performed by a dermatologist and may require multiple sessions for optimal results. It’s important to follow any pre- and post-treatment instructions provided to maximize the effectiveness of PDT.

Preventing Scarring and Hyperpigmentation

Avoiding picking or popping pimples

Picking or popping pimples can lead to scarring and worsen hyperpigmentation. As tempting as it may be, it’s essential to resist the urge to squeeze or manipulate acne lesions. Let them heal naturally or seek professional extraction when necessary to minimize the risk of scarring.

Using sunscreen to protect healing skin

When your skin is healing from acne lesions or undergoing professional treatments, it becomes more susceptible to sun damage. Protecting healing skin from harmful UV rays is crucial to minimize the risk of hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher daily, even if you’re not spending much time outdoors.

Consulting a dermatologist for scar treatment options

If you have existing acne scars or hyperpigmentation, consulting a dermatologist is advisable to explore treatment options. Dermatologists can recommend procedures such as chemical peels, microneedling, laser resurfacing, or dermal fillers to improve the appearance of scars. They can also guide you in selecting skincare products and ingredients that promote scar healing and reduce pigmentation.

By understanding the causes and types of acne, adopting a healthy skincare routine, making dietary and lifestyle adjustments, avoiding touching and picking, keeping the hair and scalp clean, managing hormonal factors, and seeking professional treatments when necessary, you can effectively prevent acne breakouts and promote clear, healthy skin. Remember, everyone’s skin is unique, so it may take some trial and error to find the best approach for you. Don’t hesitate to consult with a dermatologist for personalized advice and guidance on managing and preventing acne.