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.
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Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) How Mandelic Acid Helps with Acne Mandelic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that helps exfoliate the skin, thus helping to reduce pore clogging and potentially reducing acne. It penetrates... April 26, 2020
Salicylic acid (BHAs) How Lipohydroxy Acid Helps with Acne Lipohydroxy acid is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA), similar to salicylic acid, but with a much larger molecular size. This means it does not penetrate into the skin as far as salicylic acid, and thus causes less side effects. Does it work for acne? We need research to find out. April 26, 2020
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At Home Treatments Does Lemon Juice Clear Acne? While we do not have any clinical studies thus far, it makes sense that some of the chemicals in lemon juice and lemon peels might help reduce symptoms of acne. Lemons contain alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), and AHAs help reduce acne, so it might help. April 25, 2020
At Home Treatments Does Garlic Help with Acne? *CAUTION: Garlic can burn the skin.* Garlic has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant activity that may help with acne, but no clinical studies have tested it... April 25, 2020
At Home Treatments Does Calamine Lotion Clear Acne? Calamine lotion's main ingredient is zinc oxide, which provides some antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and hormone balancing properties, which could all theoretically help reduce acne. However, in the real world, it is unlikely to provide dramatic results. April 25, 2020