Very effective Acne.org's own Regimen: The Regimen is a 3 step process, using common drugstore products. You may have even tried similar products before. But, when used precisely as outlined in The Regimen, you will predictably clear up.
Very effective Accutane provides long-term remission of acne symptoms in about 2/3 of people who take an adequate dosage (1mg/kg). However, the power and permanency of the drug, along with its ability to cause severe birth defects and other side effects, necessitate a serious decision making and planning process with a trusted doctor, family, and caring friends.
Somewhat effective Most prescriptions provide only moderate clearing of acne. Accutane (isotretinoin), an oral medication, is the one stand out, and is very effective.
Limited effectiveness Most over-the-counter medications (salicylic acid, sulfur, and resorcinol) provide little benefit. Benzoyl peroxide is the one stand out, and when used within The Regimen, is very effective.
Limited effectiveness Highly effective when combined with benzoyl peroxide. Limited effectiveness on its own. Many people use glycolic acid as an all over treatment, often in conjunction with benzoyl peroxide. It can also be used alone or in conjunction with benzoyl peroxide as a body acne treatment, a spot treatment, or to combat irritation.
Limited effectiveness Normally producing “fair” to “good” results, high percentage chemical peels can be professionally administered.
Limited effectiveness Studies show laser therapy producing inconsistent and mediocre results. Laser therapy can also be expensive and time consuming.
Limited effectiveness Light therapy tends to disappoint. Application of light to the skin can be challenging and results are mediocre.
Limited effectiveness There is no scientific evidence to back up heat therapy and results are poor.
Largely ineffective While we should remain open to holistic and home remedies, and hopefully someday get to the root of acne, at the current time there simply are no other chemicals which can penetrate into the skin and deliver oxygen like benzoyl peroxide can. Without the ability to penetrate the skin and delivery the oxygen needed to kill acne bacteria, any topical treatment, whether it is found in a store, pharmacy, or kitchen, is limited.
Occasional use If you have a cyst or nodule, a doctor can administer a cortisone shot to quickly reduce swelling and help heal the lesion, thus helping prevent scarring.
The ZIIT Method: This is a way of spot treating a pimple and is not an all-over treatment. It combines zinc, ibuprofen, ice, and treatment with 2.5% benzoyl peroxide plus 10% glycolic acid.
Don't expect complete removal of scars, but some scar treatments can provide noticeable improvement. Doctors and plastic surgeons often combine multiple scar treatments to elicit the best result.
List of comedogenic (pore-clogging) ingredients.