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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

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... August 23, 2018
Isotretinoin (Accutane) Accutane (isotretinoin) in Pregnancy Women who are pregnant or have a chance of becoming pregnant should NEVER take isotretinoin (Accutane). It is the most dangerous medication on the market when it comes to birth defects, and is well know to cause severe birth defects and fetal death. February 22, 2019
Antibiotics Antibiotic Resistance in Acne Treatment Antibiotics are sometimes prescribed for acne treatment, but this is controversial because antibiotics do not usually provide dramatic results, and when they do work, they work only temporarily. Also, they also create resistant strains of bacteria that threaten personal and global health. February 23, 2019
Antibiotics Are Antibiotics a Good Idea for the Treatment of Acne? Antibiotics provide only moderate and temporary relief when they do work at all, and they come with a plethora of side effects, ranging from uncomfortable to life-threatening. Treatment with antibiotics over longer periods of time can cause dangerous antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria as well. February 23, 2019
At Home Treatments Can Aloe Help Acne? Available scientific evidence shows us that aloe is unlikely to improve acne. This could be partially because aloe is unstable once removed from the plant... February 23, 2019
At Home Treatments Can an Egg White Mask Help Your Acne? Egg whites are antibacterial, and acne is in part a bacterial disease. They might also help heal the skin to some degree. For these reasons, when applied to the skin, egg whites might hypothetically help reduce acne, but this is yet unproven. February 23, 2019
At Home Treatments Can Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar Help with Acne? High-glycemic diets may be associated with increased acne symptoms, and drinking apple cider vinegar may help reduce blood sugar spikes from eating high-glycemic food. It may also help replenish antioxidants. However, it is unlikely to work miracles on its own. February 23, 2019
At Home Treatments Can Honey Masks Help Clear Acne? Honey is antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and can help heal wounds. However, the one study we have on honey and acne shows that it is likely not effective against acne specifically. February 23, 2019
At Home Treatments Can Witch Hazel Help Acne? Witch hazel comes in two forms: (1) witch hazel water, and (2) witch hazel cream. Witch hazel water is the witch hazel most people are familiar with that is sold in drugstores. It may be anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial, both of which could potentially help with acne, but don't expect miracles. February 23, 2019