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Killing a zit: The best ways to stop acne fast

Updated on February 25, 2012

The enemy... Acne...

This zit is so big it has its own zip code
This zit is so big it has its own zip code

Most people get zits (acne)

Acne is just a part of life. Sure most of us are able to overcome it after the teenage years, but even those of us in our 20's and 30's still get the occasional pimple.

Acne can be caused for a variety of reasons:

  • Stress: Stress can cause acne because of the way the human body naturally reacts to outside stimuli. An example of this is how the body will shiver when cold in an effort to become warmer (it isn't something we knowingly control, but our body reacts due to what it recognizes as a potential threat). When a person is suffering from being overly-stressed it can trigger various hormones, and the side effect of these hormones can sometimes be acne. Now, the sad/ironic part of this is that acne can be a stressor all by itself, so this could potentially lead to a cruel and repetetive cycle.
  • Diet: You are what you eat. If you live the way most people do, you are eating unhealthy. As a society we eat too much, and we eat way too much junk. Ordering the chicken sandwich at McDonald's doesn't absolve you of your fast food sin. Eating these quick greasy meals only leaves you with a minimal nutritional value and the extra oil will often lead to acne. The human body responds to what we put into it, and we need to be eating more salads, whole grains, and fruits. If you change your eating habits you will see a big difference in your complexion (not to mention your weight, attitude, and general health).
  • Heredity: Some people are more naturally disposed to have blemishes than others. It's sad but it's also true. Just like height, weight, muscle-mass, and hair color, your skin-type is largely due to the genes passed down by your family.
  • Clogged Pores: Clogged pores creates the safe haven that the bacteria that causes acne needs to grow/fester. Your pores naturally will open and close due to outside stimuli (cold/dry surroundings closes them, while warm/moist surroundings will open them up). Sometimes people will have an excess amount of dead skin remaining on top of their most recently grown skin. It sounds kind of gross, but you are always producing new skin, and sloughing off the dead skin particles, and when your body doesn't slough off quickly enough, this can often lead to clogged pores and subsequently acne.

What type of face wash should I use?

Only wash your face twice a day
Only wash your face twice a day

How to stop getting acne

Alright, so now that you know what causes acne... what can you do to stop getting zits as often:

1. Wash your face:

Wash your face every morning when you wake up and every night when you go to bed. This will help to kill the bacteria that gets onto your skin over the course of your day and while you sleep. There are numerous articles, research reports, and commercials saying which skin cleanser is the best, but we are not going to get into that topic right now. Instead, let's jsut stick to the basics and make sure youare washing your face each morning and evening.

2. Don't over-wash your face:

Just because you want to kill the bacteria doesn't mean you should be washing your face every hour on the hour. This can be very bad for your acne situation, as you are disolving the natural oils that protect your skin. These oils can improve your skin by helping previous acne and scars heal. In addition, over-washing drys out your skin and will sometimes cause your body to react by sending more oils which then can clog your pores and create even more pimples. Do not over do it... Moderation is the name of the game, and the winner of the game gets clear skin.

3. Exercise:

Exercising can help raise your endorphin levels to decrease stress. It also makes you sweat, and the sweat can remove the bacteria and dead skin cells from your body. Working out also stimulates blood flow which helps your body fight diseases/infections, and acne is really just a very small infection (right in the middle of your forehead for the whole world to see!).

4. Drink lots of water:

Drinking water helps flush the toxins out of our body naturally through urination and perspiration. Water makes up the majority of our bodies, and is required for every process that the human body will ever do (breathing, digesting, healing an infection or acne). It is vital to our well being, so make sure you are drinking a minimum of 8-10 glasses a day (or more if you are a phsically active individual).

5. See a Dermatologist:

Dermatologists are specialized doctors that have a lot of knowledge about various acne conditions as well as access to medication that you would not be able to buy over the counter. They will work with you on a one-on-one basis to determine the root-cause of your acne and will likely be able to help you with this problem.


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