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The Best Products for Moderate to Severe Acne

The Best Products for Moderate to Severe Acne The Best Products for Moderate to Severe Acne

Acne can appear on the skin in many different forms, including as blackheads, papules, pustules, and the more severe types like nodules and cysts. While more mild forms of acne can be treated easily using low concentrations of over-the-counter skin care products, severe acne often requires stronger over-the-counter products or prescription-strength treatments.

Ten Percent Benzoyl Peroxide Cream

Benzoyl peroxide is one of the most effective acne products that is available over the counter and can be purchased in 2.5 percent, 5 percent and 10 percent concentrations. To effectively treat moderate to severe acne breakouts, the 10 percent concentration should be used. The 10 percent benzoyl peroxide cream can be very drying and irritating if applied too frequently or to areas not affected by acne. Only apply a pea-sized amount of the cream to active acne pustules and cysts, up to two times per day. Avoid the eye area, which is delicate and can be irritated easily.


Retinoid creams can sometimes clear up moderate to severe acne more effectively than benzoyl peroxide creams and are available in a few different strengths. Retinoids are derived from a form of vitamin A and are only available through prescription. Retinoids work by increasing the skin cell turnover, making the old skin cells slough off faster while increasing the production of new skin cells. Retinoid creams can cause dryness and severe irritation if used incorrectly and should be supervised by a licensed dermatologist. Retinoids should never be used around the eye area or severe irritation could occur.

Steroid Injections

For people suffering from the most chronic, severe forms of acne, namely nodular and cystic acne, sometimes topically-applied products will not clear up the condition. These severe forms of acne can be helped by a steroidal injection, which will increase the skin's ability to fight off the acne-causing bacteria and infections in the skin. Steroid injections are only available from a doctor or licensed dermatologist and are administered in a medical office. Because steroid injections can be painful and expensive, it may not be the right choice for some people.

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