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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Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) What Are the Chemical Structure of Lactic Acid and Lactate and How Is Lactic Acid Made? Lactic acid and lactate are different forms of the same molecule. This article will describe the chemical structures and methods of synthesis of lactic acid... February 07, 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. February 07, 2020
At Home Treatments Can Topical Epsom Salt Treat Acne? Epsom salt is not officially approved to treat any skin condition and no studies have tested it on acne, but due to its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties, it may be of use. March 23, 2020
Chemical Peels Resorcinol - Everything You Need to Know Resorcinol is a rarely-found ingredient in over-the-counter acne treatments that exfoliates the skin. When it is included in products, it is almost always combined with... February 07, 2020
Acne Treatments Does Triclosan Help With Acne? Triclosan kills/inhibits bacteria and reduces inflammation. Since acne is in part a bacterial and inflammatory disease, it is intriguing. However, since its efficacy is limited and concerns abound regarding its ability to create strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, it is infrequently used. February 06, 2020
Benzoyl Peroxide What is Benzoic Acid and Can it Help Clear Acne? After you apply benzoyl peroxide to the skin it breaks down into (1) hydrogen peroxide, and (2) benzoic acid. Hydrogen peroxide kills acne bacteria. But what does benzoic acid do? It is hypothesized that it helps exfoliate the skin, reduce inflammation, clear clogged pores, and reduce bacteria. February 03, 2020
Chemical Peels How Does Jessner's Solution Help Clear Acne? Jessner's solution is a different type of chemical peel for acne because it combines three ingredients: (1) 14% salicylic acid, (2) 14% resorcinol, and (3)... February 07, 2020
At Home Treatments Can African Black Soap Help Acne? There is no compelling evidence that African black soap will help with acne. In fact, since it is soap, and soap can irritate the skin and aggravate acne, like other soaps, it should be avoided for people with acne-prone skin. February 06, 2020