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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

Sulfur Sulfur for Acne Sulfur has been used for thousands of years for its ability to shed the top layer of skin cells and limit bacterial growth. Both of these things help reduce acne. Its effectiveness is increased when combined with benzoyl peroxide or sodium sulfacetamide. September 09, 2020
At Home Treatments Urine Therapy for Acne Urine contains some compounds that have potentially positive impacts on acne bacteria, but contains other compounds that may contribute to skin inflammation, which could make acne worse. Overall, urine is very dilute, so any positive or negative effects it may have are muted at best. September 09, 2020
Oral Contraceptives Hormonal Treatment for Acne Hormonal treatments for acne help limit the amount of male hormones in the body, which reduces acne symptoms. Hormonal treatments are only for females because they can feminize the male body. Oral contraceptives (birth control pills) are the most common hormonal treatment. April 15, 2021
At Home Treatments Visualization Visualization can help prime the subconscious to see opportunities when they arise in everyday life. While imagining clear skin will not be enough to achieve it, it can help you feel better along your journey to clearing up your acne. September 29, 2020
Benzoyl Peroxide Does Benzoyl Peroxide Cause the Skin to Age Faster? Benzoyl peroxide produces free radicals, and therefore some concern exists that this might lead to skin aging. However, benzoyl radicals may also reduce inflammation, which could reduce skin aging. To be safe, apply an antioxidant-containing moisturizer after treating with benzoyl peroxide. April 25, 2020
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