Acne is defined as a diseased condition of the skin that involves the hair and oil glands. It is characterised by pimples, black/white heads, reddishness and cysts.

Face acne can spoil your appearance to a great extent and body acne can really ruin your day by making you very uncomfortable.

Acne skin care should really start much before the acne actually appears. ‘Acne skin care’ is more about being proactive than reactive. Firstly, cleanliness – showers are the most basic way of keeping the skin clean. If you are living in a hot and/or humid place, a night shower becomes a must.

You should also use a mild, water-soluble, oil-free and soap-free cleanser for keeping your face, neck and arms clean

Besides showers, acne skin care is also about wearing clean clothes and sleeping on clean pillows.

If you already have acne, do not try to touch them or squeeze them; it can lead to permanent scars.There are various acne skin care creams and lotions available over-the-counter.

We can classify acne skin care products into 3 broad categories –
* Preventive or general acne skin care products
* Over-the-counter, specialised acne skin care products
* On-prescription acne skin care products.

The general acne skin care products are the ones that are used as acne-prevention measure. These include cleansers, make-up removers and similar products that help prevent acne. In the real sense, these acne skin care products are just those that should anyway be part of your daily routine. However, some of these are more oriented to act like an acne skin care product. These acne skin care products act against the causes of acne e.g. limiting the production of sebum/oil and preventing clogging of skin pores. Basically, these acne skin care products prevent the oil from getting trapped in pores and hence hamper the growth of bacteria that lead to acne.

Then there are specialised acne skin care products that are available over-the-counter i.e. without the need of a prescription. These include products like vanishing creams which extract the extra oil from the skin. Most of these acne skin care products are based on benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, both of which are the enemies of bacteria (and hence acne). You should start with a product that has lower concentration of benzoyl peroxide (e.g. 5%) and see how your skin responds to it. Alpha-hydroxy-acid based moisturizers are also popular as acne skin care products. You might have to try a few, before you zero-in on the acne skin care product that is effective for you. If nothing seems to work, you should contact a dermatologist.

On-prescription acne skin care products are the ones that are prescribed by a dermatologist. This can include ointments that can be applied on the affected area or oral antibiotics or just any topical treatment. Dermatologist could also suggest a minor surgical procedure to remove the contents of pustules. However, never try to squeeze or do this by yourself, it can lead to permanent damage of your skin. Your doctor could also prescribe a hormone-based treatment (since hormonal changes are also known to cause acne). Such acne skin care products are known to be very effective in some cases.
So, with all those acne skin care products, tackling acne is not that difficult.