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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

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.... April 07, 2022
Acne Treatments How Acne Treatments Absorb Into the Skin To be effective, topical drugs need to get into the skin. To do this, they must pass through the tough outer layer of the skin called the stratum corneum. The most common way this happens is for a drug to pass in between the cells of the stratum corneum. November 08, 2021
Natural/Household Treatments Urea and Its Role in the Skin Urea is part of the Natural Moisturizing Factor (NMF) in the skin. The NMF strengthens the outermost layer of skin, helping it to protect the body and prevent moisture loss. Synthetic urea can be added to moisturizers, and at higher percentages is prescribed to treat skin conditions like psoriasis. September 15, 2021
At Home Treatments Can Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar Help with Acne? High-glycemic diets may be associated with increased acne symptoms, and drinking apple cider vinegar may help reduce blood sugar spikes from eating high-glycemic food. It may also help replenish antioxidants. However, it is unlikely to work miracles on its own. August 27, 2021
Oils Topical Olive Oil and Acne People have applied olive oil to the skin for centuries. It is healing and healthy in several ways. However, when it comes to acne, it is likely a bad choice, since it has been shown to be slightly comedogenic (pore-clogging). August 11, 2021
Acne Treatments 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 featherlight touch. Reducing irritation when washing is critical to preventing breakouts. July 19, 2021
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
Isotretinoin (Accutane) Is Isotretinoin (Accutane) Overprescribed? Isotretinoin (Accutane®) is FDA approved for only severe cases of acne that do not respond to other treatments. However, it is often prescribed for less severe cases of acne, which is concerning because it comes with severe, and sometimes lifelong, side effects. July 09, 2021