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What to Do When You Have a Break Out?

Break out is common skin problem for people between 14 to 50 years. A break out is combined effect of multiple factors including clogged pores, stress, inflammation and bacterial growth. Usually, acne spots are scattered all over the face. However, in some cases, there can be too many acne heads concentrated in a small area. They are termed as a break out.

What to Do When You Have a Break Out?

What to Do When You Have a Break Out?

When you have a break out, you can follow the steps below to get rid of them gradually or prevent them from getting worse.

Wash your face to treat a break out. Use gentle cleanser and lukewarm water to wash your face. Warmer water can dry off your skin and cause irritation. Cold water can make your skin pores to contract. Ideally, you must wash your face twice in the morning and night before going to sleep. Be careful to choose soap or face wash that is gentle on your skin.

Apply some moisture for treating a break out. Soak up the moisture from your face gently using a soft towel. Apply some good moisture that does not clog pores and cause a break out.

Try Some Home Remedies for Managing a Break Out

A break out is not very severe and can be treated via some home remedies. Some of the popular home remedies that you can try are as follows.

  • Lemon juice is an excellent conditioner for skin. It acts as a good disinfectant, getting rid of the break out causing bacteria. Use cotton balls to apply lemon juice on your face and leave for half an hour. Wash your face with cold water.
  • Honey is another wonderful remedy for break out. It has the antibacterial and antiseptic properties that are helpful in getting rid of break out. You can apply the pure honey or mix it with substances like egg white, milk, yogurt etc. to make it more effective. Let the honey stay on your face for some time and then clean it off with normal water.

Try Commercial Treatment Options for Treating a Break Out

You can easily obtain creams and face washes containing substances like tea tree oil, salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide over the counter. Watch for any signs of reaction or severe irritation as it may not suit everyone. Start using a small amount to make sure that it shows positive results on your break out. Benzoyl peroxide and tee tree oil have good antibacterial properties while salicylic acid opens up the clogged pores and treat break out.

Seek other treatment options from a doctor. If the above treatment options do not show any signs of improvement for your break out, you would need to refer to a medical expert such as a dermatologist. An expert would look into your break out closely to look of any other possible conditions. Tell them about all the treatment options that you had tried and the response on your skin. It will help the doctor to prescribe a suitable treatment option.

You would most probably be given antibiotics to get rid of the bacteria that are causing a break out. Dermatologists would also give you oral tablets or capsules of vitamin A, retinoids and antibiotics to treat severe forms of break out. Oral antibiotics are mainly used as a supportive treatment option to help the main treatment of break out.

Some of the commonly prescribed oral antibiotics include doxycycline, minocycline, tetracycline etc.

There are some special of severe cases of break out where the normal medications alone do not work. In such cases of acne break out, vitamin A and oral retinoids are used as the second line of treatment. However, they are always used when other treatment options do not work because they can cause certain side effects. The common side effects include inflammatory bowel syndrome, depressions and thoughts of suicide. In the case of pregnant and nursing women, it can cause severe birth defects.


  1. Mayo Clinic. (2021). Acne treatments: Medical procedures may help clear skin. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/acne/in-depth/acne-treatments/art-20045892
  2. Medical News Today. (2021). How to get rid of a pimple: 10 ways. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322722

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 18, 2023

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