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Nothing is Helping My Acne: A Comprehensive Guide to Overcoming Stubborn Acne

Roberto 18 May 2023

Acne is one of the most common skin conditions, affecting millions of people around the world. While some acne can be easily treated with over-the-counter products and a good skincare regimen, others can be stubborn and resistant to even the most advanced treatments. If you’re someone who has tried everything and still can’t seem to get rid of your acne, you’re not alone. In this guide, we’ll explore some of the possible reasons why your acne isn’t responding to treatment and what you can do to finally achieve clear, glowing skin.

Understanding Acne: A Brief Overview

Acne is a skin condition that occurs when hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. This can lead to the development of pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, and other types of blemishes. Acne is most commonly associated with puberty, but it can affect people of all ages.

While the exact cause of acne is not fully understood, it is believed to be the result of a combination of factors, including hormonal changes, genetics, and the overproduction of oil by the skin’s sebaceous glands. Stress, diet, and certain medications can also contribute to the development of acne.

The Most Common Types of Acne

Acne can be classified into several different types, each with its own unique characteristics:

Type of AcneDescription
WhiteheadsSmall, white bumps that appear on the skin’s surface
BlackheadsSmall, dark bumps that appear on the skin’s surface
PapulesSmall, red bumps that are tender to the touch
PustulesBumps that contain pus and are often red and inflamed
NodulesLarger, more serious bumps that are painful and can last for weeks or months
CystsPainful, pus-filled lumps that can cause scarring

Identifying the type of acne you have is important because it can help you choose the most effective treatment options.

Why Isn’t My Acne Responding to Treatment?

There are several reasons why your acne may not be responding to treatment, including:

You’re using the wrong skincare products

Not all skincare products are created equal, and what works for one person may not work for another. If you’re using products that are too harsh or not formulated for your skin type, they could be making your acne worse instead of better. Look for products that are labeled “non-comedogenic” (meaning they won’t clog your pores) and avoid products that contain alcohol, fragrances, or other potentially irritating ingredients.

You’re not using your products correctly

Even if you’re using the right products, if you’re not using them correctly, they may not be effective. For example, if you’re not cleansing your skin thoroughly before applying your acne medication, the medication may not be able to penetrate deep enough to reach the source of the problem. Make sure to read the instructions on your products carefully and follow them exactly.

Your acne is caused by an underlying medical condition

In some cases, acne can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or adrenal gland disorders. If your acne is not responding to treatment, it’s worth talking to your doctor to rule out any underlying health issues.

You need a stronger medication

If you’ve been using over-the-counter acne products without success, you may need a stronger prescription medication. There are several different types of prescription acne medications, including retinoids, antibiotics, and hormonal therapies. Talk to your dermatologist to determine which option is best for you.

Tips for Clearing Stubborn Acne

If you’re struggling with stubborn acne, there are several things you can do to improve your chances of success:

Stick to a consistent skincare routine

Consistency is key when it comes to treating acne. Make sure to cleanse your skin twice a day, apply your medications as directed, and moisturize regularly. Don’t skip any steps or take any shortcuts.

Avoid picking or squeezing your pimples

It can be tempting to try to pop your pimples, but doing so can actually make your acne worse and lead to scarring. Instead, let your acne run its course and use your medications to speed up the healing process.

Pay attention to your diet

While there is no definitive link between diet and acne, some studies have suggested that certain foods, such as dairy and high-glycemic-index foods, may exacerbate acne. Experiment with cutting back on these types of foods and see if it makes a difference for you.

Manage your stress levels

Stress can trigger acne or make it worse, so it’s important to find ways to manage your stress levels. This could include exercise, meditation, or other relaxation techniques.

Consider professional treatments

If your acne is severe, you may want to consider professional treatments such as chemical peels, microdermabrasion, or laser therapy. These treatments can be expensive, but they may be more effective than over-the-counter treatments.


Acne can be frustrating and difficult to treat, but don’t give up hope. There are many effective treatments available, and with a little bit of patience and persistence, you can achieve clear, healthy skin. If you’re still struggling with acne after trying these tips, don’t hesitate to consult with a dermatologist to determine the best course of action for your individual needs.

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