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Acne Cure?

Does Such a Thing Exist?

By: Dan Kern, Acne.org Founder & CSO
Last updated: November 21, 2019

The Essential Information

Any time you hear a company, product, or web site claiming a "cure" for acne, it is wise to react with skepticism. Do not fall for marketing hype, especially online, that a product or treatment program of any kind will "cure" your acne. It will not.

The only medication that can make an argument that it cures acne is isotretinoin, because research shows it permanently reduces skin oil production and provides "remission" of acne in 66% of people. However, even in the case of isotretinoin, relapse rates may be higher than we think. Also, isotretinoin is recommended only for severe acne that does not respond to other treatments because it comes with a litany of side effects, and leaves the skin and the entire body permanently altered.

Both photodynamic therapy and laser therapy show potential for long-term reduction in acne, so an argument could be made that they could provide some long-term relief for some people, but not cure. And concerningly, like isotretinoin, these treatments achieve their results primarily through damaging skin oil glands. What damaging these glands will mean to the health and aging of the skin in the long-term remains to be seen, and is a risk.

The Science

Any person or organization that uses the word "cure" to advertise their acne product or device should be met with skepticism. Aside from the exception of the oral prescription medication isotretinoin, which provides long-term remission in some people who take it, a cure does not exist. You will not find a cure on the Internet or in any other type of media. What you will find are a substantial number and variety of web sites promising herbal acne cures, diet acne cures, or miracle "secrets." If a site is using language of this type, and especially if they ask you to pay for any information, leave that site. They are attempting to scam you.

Acne Cure?

Your time is better spent looking at how to treat and prevent acne. For an overview of legitimate and effective acne treatments, visit the treatments section of acne.org. 

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