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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

Benzoyl Peroxide Everything You Need to Know About Benzoyl Peroxide Benzoyl peroxide is available both over-the-counter and as a prescription in 2.5% - 10% strength. It kills bacteria, exfoliates the skin, and may reduce inflammation, all of which can help clear acne. It comes with side effects, especially during the first month. February 22, 2021
Retinoids Do Topical Retinoids Increase Sensitivity to the Sun? Widely available topical retinoids include tretinoin, tazarotene, and adapalene. All three come with package inserts that warn about sun exposure and recommend sun protection. However, published evidence is scant on this subject. Still, it is always a good idea to protect your skin from the sun. January 11, 2021
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