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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

Sulfur Sulfur for Acne Sulfur has been used for thousands of years for its ability to shed the top layer of skin cells and limit bacterial growth. Both of... April 26, 2020
Anti-androgens Spironolactone in Acne Treatment Spironolactone is an anti-androgen medication, which means it suppresses the production of male hormones (androgens). This leads to a reduction in acne. It is almost always prescribed only to females, and usually alongside the birth control pill. It comes with a long list of side effects. April 26, 2020
Light Therapy Photodynamic Therapy - PDT Information on how photodynamic therapy (PDT) is performed for acne, which type of light is best, and which photosensitizer is best. Side effects and what kind of results you can expect are considered. April 26, 2020
At Home Treatments Hypochlorous Acid: What Is It, and Can It Help with Acne? Hypochlorous acid is a weak acid found in many household cleansers and is also found in some topical treatments for skin conditions such as rashes. It has been shown to kill acne bacteria in the lab, and it may also help the skin heal faster. But is it an effective acne treatment? We don't know yet. April 26, 2020
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