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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 What Are Retinoids, and Why Are They Used to Treat Acne? When people refer to retinoids in acne treatment, they are normally referring to the three approved prescription topical retinoids: tretinoin, adapalene, and tazarotene. All three work by unclogging pores and reducing irritation. They are unlikely to completely clear the skin on their own, however. October 02, 2020
At Home Treatments Visualization Visualization can help prime the subconscious to see opportunities when they arise in everyday life. While imagining clear skin will not be enough to achieve it, it can help you feel better along your journey to clearing up your acne. September 29, 2020
Antibiotics The Side Effects of Antibiotics Topical antibiotics often produce skin irritation, and oral antibiotics are well known to produce gastrointestinal upset and nervous system problems, and sometimes more serious lifelong... September 15, 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 to females, usually alongside the birth control pill, and comes with a long list of side effects. September 09, 2020
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 these things help reduce acne. Its effectiveness is increased when combined with benzoyl peroxide or sodium sulfacetamide. September 09, 2020
At Home Treatments Urine Therapy for Acne Urine contains some compounds that have potentially positive impacts on acne bacteria, but contains other compounds that may contribute to skin inflammation, which could make... September 09, 2020
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