Acne treatment Acne treatment

Combination Therapy for Acne

Combination Therapy for Acne


Depending upon the type of acne you have, one or more treatments may be required to eliminate the problem. Combination therapy is often reserved for those who have stubborn or severe acne that is not responding to any particular single treatment alone. When using combination therapy to treat acne, it is simply the process of using two or more treatment options at the same time to attack acne.


Combination therapy is frequently used if you have a mixture of inflammatory acne lesions and comedonal acne, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. Comedonal acne is the medical term for blackheads. Combination therapy is also used in other cases for patients who suffer from whiteheads and acne cysts. Combination therapy is often beneficial for patients who suffer from dry and oily skin, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. This type of treatment allows the skin to be treated in two ways, either from both the inside and outside or by treating acne for oily and dry skin.


Methods of combination therapy can vary depending upon what your dermatologist recommends. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, a common combinatin therapy consists of using antibiotics with a topical solution, such as a retinoid. Drainage and surgical extraction can also be used for severe cases of acne cysts. Laser and light treatments are effective for eliminating causes of acne such as dead skin cells and clogged pores. Comedo extraction, the process of eliminating blackheads and whiteheads, can also be used along with the use of antibiotics. The American Academy of Family Physicians states that the combination of benzoyl peroxide and erythromycin is a potent mixture to eliminate acne.


Using combination therapy treats acne by reducing inflammation and eliminating the cause, or source, of acne. Whether you are using an antibiotic to treat bacteria and a topical retinoid to reduce inflammation or a cleanser such as benzoyl peroxide and an acne gel, you are attacking the acne from different directions, which is an effective treatment in eliminating acne.

Time Frame

Many factors, such as the type of acne and the treatments being used, will influence the time frame that it takes to see noticeable results. According to the American Academy of Dermatology and the American Academy of Family Physicians, the time frame for noticeable results can range from four to eight weeks. The American Academy of Family Physicians stresses the importance of patience when treating acne.


Combination therapy is effective in treating acne, but you may have to try several combination treatments before finding the right one for you. Your dermatologist will advise you which one may be the most beneficial for your type of acne, but if that treatment doesn't respond, a new method may be warranted to clear your skin. Certain treatments are costly. For example, the American Academy of Family Physicians states that salicylic acid is more affordable than other treatment options, yet less effective. You may also want to ask your dermatologist to prescribe a generic antibiotic as opposed to a brand-name drug.

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