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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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...
July 01, 2020
Why Spinning Face Brushes Are Not a Good Idea for Acne-Prone Skin
Spinning brushes physically irritate the skin. To avoid acne, it is best to avoid any form of physical irritation, so it is safest to forgo these brushes, even if they are advertised as "gentle." Instead, use only your bare hands and a gentle facial cleanser and wash gently for 10 seconds or less.
December 09, 2020
Which Prescriptions Do Doctors Prescribe Most Often for Acne?
The top 10 prescriptions written for acne are (1) Tretinoin, (2) Isotretinoin, (3) Clindamycin/Benzoyl Peroxide combination, (4) Minocycline, (5) Adapalene, (6) Clindamycin Phosphate, (7) Doxycycline,...
December 02, 2020
What's the Difference Between Retinol and Retinoids?
Retinol is available over-the-counter and retinoids (tretinoin, adapalene, tazarotene) are only available by prescription (except for 0.1% adapalene which is available over-the-counter). Retinol is weaker than retinoids and comes with less side effects.
November 24, 2020
What Is the Actual Relapse Rate of Accutane (isotretinoin)?
Many people think of isotretinoin as a permanent solution to acne, but 14.6 to 52% of people see their acne return after isotretinoin therapy ends....
November 24, 2020
What Is Mineral Oil, and Is It Safe to Use on Acne-prone Skin?
Mineral oil is non-comedogenic, which means it will not clog pores. When applied to the skin, it creates a layer on top of the skin and helps keep moisture inside. While it will most likely not improve acne, it is safe to use on acne-prone skin.
November 10, 2020