Papules are small, raised, cone-shaped bumps that are often inflamed, but do not generally produce pus. Although this form of acne can sometimes be painful and embarrassing, it is thought to be less destructive than other varieties, as it often clears up on its own without damaging the skin. Despite this, many are eager to speed up the healing process by seeking out a treatment for papules. Some people combat this skin condition with things as simple as altering skin care and housekeeping habits. Others prefer to use more drastic treatments, such as acid peels and antibiotics.
A change in lifestyle habits is a popular treatment for papules. Changing facial cleansers or moisturizers is a good example of this. For instance, using a mild glycerin or sensitive skin-specific face wash is often advisable, as is avoiding harsh facial scrubs that can further aggravate papules. Since an overproduction of oil is often to blame for the formation of many types of acne, those who suffer from it should keep their skin well moisturized to avoid this overproduction. Oil-free moisturizers are a good option for those with papules, as they can keep the skin hydrated without clogging the pores.
As well as keeping the skin clean, it is important to keep the surrounding environment clean. For instance, the hands should be thoroughly sanitized prior to washing or moisturizing the face. Regularly washing pillow cases, bedsheets, and towels may also help reduce the bacteria that can cause this type of acne.
Although small lifestyle alterations may help in clearing and preventing acne outbreaks, some prefer a treatment for papules that is a little more drastic. For example, acid peels that contain salicylic and glycolic acid are often used to help treat this condition. Benzoyl peroxide and retinoid creams are other popular options. Though thought to be effective, these treatments can be harsh on the skin and should never be used without the guidance of a doctor.
For those who wish to avoid harsher treatments, there are milder natural alternatives. One natural treatment for papules is tea tree oil. This oil is thought to contain antibacterial properties, which many feel are as effective in the treatment of acne as benzoyl peroxide. Zinc is also thought to be beneficial in treating papules, as it contains anti-inflammatory properties and may also boost the immune system. This treatment can be taken internally or applied externally.