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Mild acne

If your acne condition is limited mainly to whiteheads and blackheads, you probably have mild acne, especially if the lesions do not cover large areas of the face or body.

A whitehead occurs when the opening to the pore is closed off and the hair follicle fills with oil and dead skin cells.

A blackhead occurs when the opening to the pore is blocked by a dark plug of oil and dead skin cells. A chemical reaction causes the surface to darken and form a blackhead.

Early treatment and regular preventive skincare can reduce mild cases of acne.

Anti-acne treatments available without a prescription at pharmacies or on supermarket shelves can help control mild acne.

To read a personal story from a young person, please click here.

Advice for treating mild acne

If mild acne is concerning you, you need to take these necessary and important steps:

Step 1


Speak to your pharmacist about recommending some over the counter treatments, for your particular skin type.

Step 2


Follow the instructions carefully to help clear existing pimples and prevent new ones from forming.

Step 3


Stick with your recommended treatment. Use a gentle cleanser and mild moisturiser. Keep cosmetic use to a minimum. Avoid oil-based cosmetics, which may clog the pores.

Step 4


If you’re still concerned about your acne after eight weeks, make an appointment to visit your GP.

If you have mild acne, changing an acnegenic topical product may be all that is necessary for improved long-term control.

Topical skincare products containing such ingredients as salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide and nicatinamide (also called niacinamide) can be effective for people with mild acne and are widely available without a prescription. Examples include Neutrogena's Oil Free Acne Wash, Benzac and Papulex products.

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