Medically reviewed by Minimalist Health Specialist -  Written by Akruti Khandkar (Journalist)  on 19th Oct 2020

Spot Treatment for acne: How it usually works

Spot Treatment for acne

Acne and blemishes are regular and are something we experience at every age. Whenever you see your stubborn acne, you might want a magic pill that makes your breakout go away. Unfortunately, we do not have that (yet), but there are several other ways to lessen acne presence.

Since the vast majority of us are quarantined and working from home, there's generally no motivation to wear makeup regularly. Make hay while the sun shines by allowing your skin to breathe and begin handling that troublesome acne that never appears to vanish.  

What causes acne?

Acne is the output of clogged pores, excess oil, and dead skin cells. As per AAD, If the body produces a lot of sebum (oil), those cells get stuck in the pores, causing acne.

According to Dr. Sandra Lee, says

acne starts in the pores of the skin (hair follicle). The oil can be trapped in the pores containing bacteria, and these microorganisms can cause acne or skin infections.  

How to spot-treat your acne? 

We've all been there: I get a pimple. I quickly treat said pimple with the best spot treatment I could find. In the end, I end up with a dried out, peel-y wreck. Most spot treatment contains either benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid as an active ingredient.

It is because benzoyl peroxide damages the bacteria that causes zits, so it's an ideal dynamic for treating fiery skin acne flaws.

Similarly, salicylic acid is the best chemical exfoliator you could find.  

Benzoyl peroxide can be reliable.   

Benzoyl peroxide has a mellow calming impact and helps battle skin acne by eliminating bacteria and unclogging pores.

However, a higher rate doesn't mean the item will be more successful. The products range from 2% to 10% of Benzoyl peroxide concentration; however, higher quantities can irritate.  

Dermo tip-

if you have dry/sensitive skin, leave the benzoyl peroxide on your face for 30 sec and wash off. If you can tolerate it, you are good to go.  

Salicylic acid is found in many healthy skincare products. 

Every dermatologist suggests the consistent use of sunscreen that contains salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid-BHA commonly used in skin items. BHAs assist in exfoliation and consequently help in forestalling and treating impeded pores.

Salicylic acid is an oil solvent, which means it can enter and oust the gunk (sebum) in your pores, so it's not trapped inside the pores.

Dr. Lim explains that, 

salicylic acid is anti-inflammatory, and merely 2% of the compound in skincare can help with your acne.  

Sometimes spot medicines aren't the appropriate response to an acne condition.

With everything taken into account, the spot treatment you pick comes down to what, in particular, works best for you. If spot treatment isn't cutting it, a visit to the dermatologist could help you make sense of elective treatment plans like remedies or diet changes.  

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Minimalist's advice:

OTC acne products, for the most part, contain a compound of salicylic or benzoyl acid. These substances decrease the measure of oil your body produces. They likewise battle irritation. This helps treat existing acne and keep new ones at bay.  

Topical medications can help when OTC items aren't sufficient. These skin acne gels or creams may contain tretinoin (a retinoid drug originating from vitamin A), a more grounded variant of benzoyl peroxide, or an anti-toxin called clindamycin.

Other medications for spot treatment are- glycolic acid (an AHA that cleanses and eliminates the dead skin cells) and lactic acid (works best on sensitive skin.)

These may do a better job of eliminating bacteria when your acne is moderate to severe.  

What are the side-effects of the spot treatment? 

Side effects of acne spot treatment shifts contingent upon the technique you pick and the medicine's quality.

For topical medication, the most common after-effects are skin dryness and irritation. Luckily, these side effects are transitory. The condition improves as your body becomes accustomed to the prescription. In case your skin tingles or peels heavily, or burns, contact your dermatologist.

The likely results for oral medications can be more serious. Antibiotics can give you an irritated stomach or make you discombobulated and woozy. In case you're additionally taking birth control pills, consult your doctor before taking any oral medication.

As per AAD, Oral isotretinoin (an often-used medication for acne vulgaris- scientific name of acne) or any topical medicines can cause severe side effects if you are pregnant. Congenital disabilities have been accounted for in infants whose moms took isotretinoin during pregnancy. Likewise, the drug can influence your cholesterol levels and liver capacity.

Don't take any oral medication without consulting your doctor.  

Here are seven dermatologists supported reasons why early spot treatment of acne is essential:  

1. Get quicker outcomes from treatment.

Spot treating acne requires significant time whether or not you're treating mild or severe skin acne. It takes less time and exertion to free a couple of pimples than a mixture of breakouts that could incorporate clogged pores, whiteheads, deep acne, and cysts.   

2. Reduce scars 

Treating skin acne early may forestall skin scars. The more you wait, the higher chance of skin scar is. Spot Treating whenever there's any hint of skin acne may likewise keep you away from picking at the acne, which is the main reason behind the scars.  

3. Stop waiting for spots to develop when the acne clears 

Any individual with medium-to-obscurely pigmented skin may see a dull spot showing up when acne, cyst, pimple, or nodule clears. Dermatologists call this method post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). Individuals with light-shaded skin may see a red spot where acne used to be. These spots can take quite a long time to fade away. 

4. Prevent mild skin break out from getting out of hand 

Early treatment can keep a couple of acne from advancing to gruesome acne, clogged pores, and whiteheads. 

5. Prevention is better than cure

Early treatment may save your chances of using stronger acne medications. When the skin breaks out and it gets severe, strong medicine is sometimes required for clearing. These meds have more possible results and require consultation with a dermatologist.  

6. Shun the tiring years of skin acne  

Skin acne can start at a young age. Spot treating early and monitoring it can forestall future breakouts. It can benefit you with a substantial number of years without acne.  

7. Sidestep emotional pain.  

Studies show that skin acne can likewise negatively shake your self-esteem. A few people with skin acne pull back from individuals in their lives. You need to understand that your looks or body should never affect your psyche, but treatment can help you with healthy skin.  

Follow the rules of a dermatologist. 

Getting acne might be unavoidable. However, you don't need to live with it. With decades of research, essentially everybody can accomplish more clear skin.  

In case you're hoping to get rid of acne, this is what dermatologists suggest:  

Utilize the correct spot treatment according to the type of blemishes you have. For instance, if you have clogged pores, you need a remedy that can unclog pores.

For profound, painful acne, you need treatment that takes a shot at obstructed irritation, pores, bacteria, and abundance oil. To get a treatment that can do this, you need a dermatologist's assistance. 


Here and there, it's hard to determine what kinds of acne you have. In case you're uncertain, a dermatologist can let you know.

Regardless of what type of skin acne you have, research shows these below can help.  

Always pick a gentle skincare routine.

Are you one of those who scrub away all the abundance of oil and blemishes?
Have you ever popped a pimple to get rid of it rapidly?

While it might appear that you are getting clearer skin, what you are doing irritates your skin. Using too many items or harsh scrubs can disturb your skin hence leading it to more acne. To clear skin, delicate, healthy skincare works best.

Dr. Davin Lim suggests the use of oil-free skincare products (sunscreen, makeup). At the point when you have skin acne, you have obstructed pores. To clear skin break out, you need to unclog those pores. If you apply any product that contains oil, you'll probably block your pores even more. Stopped up pores can prompt more breakouts. Dr. Lim adds, any item that is oil-free will have one of these terms on its labeling:

1. Non-comedogenic
2. Oil-free
3. Won't clog up pores

Patience is the key. Indeed, you'll discover spot treatments that can make acne look less visible short-term. Any therapy that lessens growing and redness can do this. It would help if you waited a little more to get rid of that stubborn acne and prevent new ones. It would require a consistency of 6-8 weeks for improvements.  

9 skincare habits that can help your acne 

Do you do any of these? If not, give it a try. Picking some healthy skincare habits can save your acne from a lot of trouble.  

1. Wash two times per day and after sweating.

Sweat, particularly when wearing a cap or headgear, can aggravate your acne, so wash your skin as quickly as time permits after a workout or any cause of sweating.  

2. Use your fingertips to apply a gentle cleanser.

Utilizing a washcloth, sponge, or any rough material can bother the skin.  

3. Be delicate with your skin.

Utilize fragile items, for example, alcohol-free. Try not to use things that aggravate your skin, incorporating astringents, toners, and exfoliants. Dry, red skin exacerbates skin break out.  

4. Scrubbing your skin can aggravate skin breakouts.

Maintain a strategic distance from regular harsh bead scrubs.  

5. Rinse with tepid water 

Wash your hair regularly, atleast twice a week if you have oily hair. 

6. Shampoo regularly  

Don't use hot or icy water for your skin.  

7. Let your skin heal naturally.

 If you pick, pop, or press your acne, your skin will take more time to clear, and you increment the danger of getting acne scars.  

8. Stay out of the sun & tanning beds.

 If you pick, pop, or press your acne, your skin will take more time to clear, and you increment the danger of getting acne scars.  

9. SPF 

Always apply sunscreen with SPF 30 or more. 

10. Consult a dermatologist if:  

Confused about your acne.

The items you've attempted have not worked.

Your acne is leaving scars or obscuring your skin.  


We at minimalist support positivity and embracing the real you. Acne, blemishes, or any other skin problems are prevalent and can be treated. Don't let these minute problems hinder your confidence. Keep shining!