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Acne Treatments

For a quick list of acne treatments and how well they tend to work, check out the acne treatments overview page.

Generally speaking, for most people, proper application of benzoyl peroxide can completely clear acne and keep it clear until it naturally subsides with time.

For people with severe, widespread, and scarring acne, isotretinoin (Accutane®) is an oral treatment that can produce long-term remission of acne in about 2/3 of people, but comes with many side effects, some of which can be lifelong. It also causes severe birth defects, and may cause premature aging and joint pain in the long-term. For all of these reasons, all other options should be exhausted first. If it is used, it must be administered in close partnership with a physician.

Females: If you are experiencing irregular menstruation, particularly if it comes with excessive hair growth, be sure to see your doctor concerning poly-cystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). If PCOS is diagnosed, oral contraceptives are normally prescribed and can clear acne and relieve other symptoms at the same time.

Many other topical and oral treatments exist for acne, most of which produce moderate, yet incomplete, results. Home remedies, aside from a few exceptions, tend to produce little to no results.
 

Latest in Acne Treatments

Retinoids Do Topical Retinoids Increase Sensitivity to the Sun? Widely available topical retinoids include tretinoin, tazarotene, and adapalene. All three come with package inserts that warn about sun exposure and recommend sun protection. However, published evidence is scant on this subject. Still, it is always a good idea to protect your skin from the sun. January 11, 2021
Acne Treatments Genetic Treatments for Acne Because acne is a so-called multifactorial disease, there is most likely not a single gene that causes it. For this reason, treating acne through gene... January 05, 2021
Acne Treatments Does Triclosan Help With Acne? Triclosan kills/inhibits bacteria and reduces inflammation. Since acne is in part a bacterial and inflammatory disease, it is intriguing. However, since its efficacy is limited and concerns abound regarding its ability to create strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, it is infrequently used. December 24, 2020
Acne Treatments How Close Are We to an Acne Vaccine? For five decades, researchers have worked toward creating a vaccine for acne. However, technical obstacles abound, which makes the possibility of having an acne vaccine only a potential and distant reality. December 23, 2020
At Home Treatments Can African Black Soap Help Acne? There is no compelling evidence that African black soap will help with acne. In fact, since it is soap, and soap can irritate the skin and aggravate acne, like other soaps, it should be avoided for people with acne-prone skin. December 16, 2020
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