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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

Laser Therapy Lasers and Acne Laser therapy may reduce acne to a moderate degree after several sessions by reducing acne bacteria and skin oil, and may produce more lasting results than topical treatments. However, there is concern that permanently damaging skin oil glands might lead to premature aging or other problems. July 06, 2020
At Home Treatments Zinc and Acne Overview Research shows us that low levels of zinc may be linked to acne. Oral zinc supplementation (30 mg of zinc gluconate per day) may prove beneficial for reducing acne symptoms. Topical zinc shows less promise. July 01, 2020
Benzoyl Peroxide Is Benzoyl Peroxide Safe? The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has concluded that benzoyl peroxide is a safe and effective acne treatment. It comes with side effects, such... June 25, 2020
Acne Treatments How to Wash Your Face the Right Way Follow these important steps for washing your face if you have acne. Wash only twice a day, using a mild cleanser, bare hands, and a featherlight touch. Reducing irritation when washing is critical to preventing breakouts. June 16, 2020
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 less deeply into the skin compared to other AHAs and has less side effects. June 16, 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. June 16, 2020
Acne Treatments How Acne Treatments Absorb Into the Skin To be effective, topical drugs need to get into the skin. To do this, they must pass through the tough outer layer of the skin called the stratum corneum. The most common way this happens is for a drug to pass in between the cells of the stratum corneum. June 15, 2020
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