Acne treatment Acne treatment

Proven Products for Acne Treatment

Proven Products for Acne Treatment Proven Products for Acne Treatment

According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), effective acne treatment products target one or more of the four parts of the acne cycle. The cycle begins when you produce too much of the skin oil known as sebum. Next, the oil clogs your pores, providing a good environment for the last two steps: bacterial infection and tissue irritation. If the irritation is close to the surface, you'll see whiteheads and blackheads. If it's a little deeper, you'll notice pimples. Oil in the deeper tissues can lead to a cyst that's filled with pus.


The AAD recommends that acne treatment begin with an effective daily or twice daily routine to limit skin irritation. Wash your face with a mild facial cleanser and lukewarm water, rinse well and pat dry with a towel.

Mild Acne

The AAD says mild acne responds best to topical products that are available in creams, soaps, gels, solutions and lotions. The Mayo Clinic recommends acne treatment products that contain ingredients such as salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, sulfur, resorcinol or lactic acid. Available over-the-counter for very mild acne, these treatments eliminate excess oil, kill bacteria and slough away dead skin cells.

Non-Responsive Acne

If your mild acne doesn't respond well to over-the-counter acne treatment products, your doctor may prescribe one of the acne treatment products derived from vitamin A that unplug pores and encourage cell turnover. The Mayo Clinic lists tretinoin, adapalene and tazarotene as examples of vitamin A derivatives.

Moderate to Severe Acne

According to the AAD, oral antibiotics are the standard treatment if you have moderate to severe acne. They also work well for acne that covers large areas of your body, or acne blemishes that don't respond to topical products. Your doctor may prescribe doxycycline, tetracycline or minocycline, often in combination with topical acne treatment products. If you're a woman whose acne is influenced by fluctuations in your hormone level, your doctor may also prescribe oral contraceptives, or birth control pills.


Isotretinoin is the only medication approved by the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the most severe form of acne that leads to pus-filled cysts on your face and body, says the AAD. If you're a woman and take this drug during pregnancy, your baby is at risk for significant birth defects. The FDA has instituted the iPLEDGE monitoring program that requires women of reproductive age to sign up before a doctor can prescribe this drug. If you have cysts that are large and painful, your doctor may inject a corticosteroid into the lesion to promote healing and reduce your discomfort, says the AAD.

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