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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Acne Treatment Options
Despite the numerous acne treatment options, only a few are effective. Get the facts and choose a treatment that will clear you up completely.
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Light Therapy - Blue and/or Red Light
Blue and/or red light devices may help to reduce acne, especially stronger light devices found in doctors' offices, but usually not to a dramatic degree and only in the short term. They are best used alongside other acne treatments.
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Chemical Peels for Acne
Chemical peels work by exfoliating the top layers of skin. This has been shown to reduce acne and acne scarring. However, chemical peels on their...
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The dark/red spots left behind after acne can be as irritating as the acne itself, particularly for people with darker skin, but they do fade with time. This page discusses how to prevent these marks and treatments for existing post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
June 08, 2020
Isotretinoin, often known by its brand name, Accutane, is an oral medication approved for people with severe, scarring acne. It is the most effective medication for acne, but also comes with a long list of side effects, some of which can be severe and/or lifelong, and causes severe birth defects.
June 02, 2022
Acne Scar Treatments
There are numerous acne scar treatments that do help. Read through this page to understand what type of scarring you have, available scar treatments for your skin's unique topography, and advice on finding the right doctor to perform your chosen procedure.
March 03, 2020
A list of all of the prescription medications for acne, including what each of them is, what they do, and considerations before taking them. Reviews...
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The Acne.org Regimen
The Acne.org Regimen
The Acne.org Regimen is a 3-step treatment that will completely clear even stubborn cases of acne. It involves using a Cleanser, Treatment (2.5% benzoyl peroxide), and Moisturizer in specific ways and at particular doses.
July 19, 2021