Acne treatment Acne treatment

Remedies for Adult Acne

Remedies for Adult Acne Remedies for Adult Acne

The American Academy of Dermatology reports that 40 to 50 million people within the United States suffer from acne each year. Exact causes are still a mystery, but it is known that clogged pores provide a breeding ground for bacteria already in your skin. Overproduction of bacteria results in infection, causing blackheads to painful cysts. There are several remedies for adults who suffer from acne.

Gentle Cleansing

Many assume that the more often you wash your acne-prone skin, the better. This is a false assumption, and overwashing can actually irritate your skin further, resulting in more breakouts. The American Academy of Dermatology suggests washing with a mild soap no more than twice a day.

Topical Treatments

For mild acne, over-the-counter topical treatments can be quite effective. Dr. Andrew Weil recommends products that contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid listed as the primary ingredient. If your acne is more severe, a dermatologist can prescribe topical treatments with higher doses of benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid.


Dermatologists often prescribe oral antibiotics to treat the bacterial infection. Readers of give Bactrim and Septra (trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole) the highest ratings for effectiveness, agreeability with the skin and affordability. Additional antibiotics for acne include tetracycline, minocycline and doxycycline.


Isotretinoin (Accutane) is one of the most powerful treatments available for acne and is typically reserved for only the most severe cases, which involve cysts. According to the Mayo Clinic, patients receiving this treatment must be monitored closely by their dermatologist for signs of severe side effects. Side effects can include dry eyes, dry mouth, chapped lips, dry nose, dry skin, itching, nosebleeds, muscle aches, depression, sensitivity to the sun and poor night vision. Accutane should not be used by pregnant women as it can cause serious birth defects.

Oral Contraceptives

It is not uncommon for dermatologists to prescribe birth control pills for acne to women who are not planning on becoming pregnant. According to, birth control pills lower testosterone levels and can show a 50% reduction in acne. Readers of give this method of treatment 3.5 out of 5 points for effectiveness, 3 points for agreeability with the skin and 4 points for affordability.

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