Talk to your pharmacist if you think you may have acne. Your pharmacist will be able to confirm that it is acne. The pharmacist will assess the severity of your condition and decide whether it is necessary for you to see your doctor. For mild acne, the pharmacist may recommend a gel, cream or lotion containing benzoyl peroxide. This product acts against the bacteria that cause the swelling and irritation associated with acne. It also has a keratolytic effect, breaking down the keratin plug that blocks the pores, allowing the sebum to drain more easily. The pharmacist will advise you to start on the lowest strength product and to use it continuously. An improvement is usually seen in 8 to 12 weeks. Alternatively, your pharmacist my recommend other keratolytic preparations containing salicylic acid or sulphur. An alcohol-based or detergent-based cleansing lotion may be recommended to remove excess oil and any loose dead skin.
For moderate or severe acne, or if your acne has failed to respond, your pharmacist will advise you to see your doctor.