Acne treatment Acne treatment

Methods for Clearing Up Acne

Methods for Clearing Up Acne Methods for Clearing Up Acne

People of all ages with different skin types can suffer from acne. So, it makes sense that there are a variety of treatment methods available to conquer acne on teenaged oily skin and adult dry skin. Treatments range from over-the-counter creams to prescription drugs, all of which can be effective in controlling and eliminating acne for good.

Topical Cleansers and Creams

Over-the-counter topical cleansers and creams are the most common method of clearing up acne. Typical ingredients include salicylic acid, which works to get rid of dead skin cells faster and benzoyl peroxide, a chemical that reduces surface oil and kills bacteria. Usually, a cleanser is used to remove dirt and oil, then a toner is applied to get rid of dead skin cells and penetrate into the pores. Lastly, a lotion, cream or gel is applied all over the face or directly to blemishes to dry them up. Common side effects include redness, irritation, peeling and dryness.


Severe acne can be treated with topical antibiotics applied to the skin. Commonly prescribed drugs include doxycycline and minocycline. In cases where acne is severe and covers the entire face, an oral antibiotic may be used, though this can cause digestive upset and yeast infections.

Oral Contraceptives

Oral contraceptives can be effective in clearing up acne as well. Low dose brands like Yaz and Ortho TryCyclen-Lo work well in creating more even hormone levels and preventing breakouts in some women. Of course, birth control pills have been linked to a higher risk of stroke and blood clots, so discussing your options with your doctor is vital before agreeing to this treatment.


Topical retinoids (a form of vitamin A) are sometimes prescribed to treat severe cases of acne. These medications work well, but can cause skin drying and sensitivity to sunlight.


Isotretinoin, sold under the brand name Accutane, is used to treat cystic acne. This is the strongest treatment available. It's an oral medication that's taken for several months at a time. This drug often gets rid of acne for good, but it can also change the texture of your skin forever, making it much dryer. Likewise, severe side effects are possible, such as depression, suicidal thoughts, liver damage and birth defects.

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