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.
Only have a few minutes? Check out these articles first:
Latest in Acne Treatments
Does Ice Help to Heal Acne?
The application of cold temperatures reduces inflammation, as seen in soft tissue injuries such as sprained ankles. The same is true of the skin. Icing...
June 21, 2021
Spironolactone in Acne Treatment
Spironolactone is an anti-androgen medication, which means it suppresses the production of male hormones (androgens). This leads to a reduction in acne. It is almost always prescribed to females, usually alongside the birth control pill, and comes with a long list of side effects.
September 09, 2020
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...
July 29, 2022
Photodynamic Therapy - PDT
Information on how photodynamic therapy (PDT) is performed for acne, which type of light is best, and which photosensitizer is best. Side effects and what kind of results you can expect are considered.
August 13, 2020
Jojoba oil is non-comedogenic, which means it will not clog pores. It is actually not actually an oil, but rather a wax ester that is stable and resistant to rancidity. It is safe to use on acne-prone skin and has a variety of uses.
April 07, 2021
At Home Treatments
Acne Home Remedies
Most home remedies for acne do not offer the benefit of proven over-the-counter or prescription acne medications, and can potentially be dangerous if used incorrectly. Proceed with caution when using "kitchen" remedies for acne, and keep your expectations realistic.
April 07, 2022
Cortisone Shots for Acne
Cortisone shots can drastically and immediately reduce inflammation in severe acne lesions. Info on what they are, side effects, and where to get one are...
March 23, 2020
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