Acne treatment Acne treatment

5 Ways to Clear Up Acne

5 Ways to Clear Up Acne 5 Ways to Clear Up Acne 5 Ways to Clear Up Acne

1. Try Creams and Lotions

You may be able to clear up mild acne with over-the-counter creams or lotions. These products work by drying up oil, killing bacteria and helping your skin slough off dead cells. Pick them up in any drugstore. Look for items with active ingredients that include benzoyl peroxide, sulfur, resorcinol, salicylic acid or lactic acid. If your acne doesn't respond to over-the-counter products, you may need prescription creams or lotions such as Tretinoin (Avita, Retin-A, Renova) and adapalene (Differin). Topical antibiotics might also be in order. These products work alone or together to kill excess skin bacteria, promote cell turnover and prevent plugging of hair follicles. Ask your doctor or dermatologist if these products might work for you.

2. See Your Doctor for Medications

If you have moderate to severe acne, prescription oral antibiotics might help. Depending on the severity of your acne, your treatment could be long-term, lasting for months. You may also need to use the antibiotics with topical creams or lotions. Isotretinoin (Accutane) is another option, but this medication is reserved for the most severe forms of acne---scarring cystic acne or cases that don't clear up with other treatments. The drug is effective, but can have serious side effects, including severe birth defects. If you take it, you'll have to be closely monitored by your dermatologist.

3. Look Into Laser and Light Therapy

Laser- and light-based therapies reach the deeper layers of skin without harming the skin's surface. Researchers think that laser treatment works by damaging the oil (sebaceous) glands. This reduces the amount of oil they produce. Light therapy works in a different way---by targeting the bacteria that cause acne inflammation. Both of these approaches can make your skin look smoother and improve the appearance of scars. If you have both active acne and acne scars, look into these options. They may work for you.

4. Check Out Cosmetic Procedures

Chemical peels and microdermabrasion---cosmetic procedures that have traditionally been used to improve the appearance of fine lines, sun damage and minor facial scars---may also help clear up acne. These approaches work best when combined with other acne treatments.

5. For Women Only

Oral contraceptives, including a combination of norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol (Ortho-Cyclen, Ortho Tri-Cyclen), can improve your acne, but they may also have side effects. Ask your doctor or dermatologist if they could be right for you.

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