What are treatments for acne?

Treatments for acne can include the following:
  • Topical or oral antibiotics and creams can be used to remove plugs at the opening of the oil glands.
  • Birth control pills can sometimes improve acne in women.
  • When washing, you should use a mild soap and avoid scrubbing.
  • Topical benzoyl peroxide can help reduce bacteria.
  • Retinoic acid can help unblock pores.
  • Acne washes and nonprescription preparations may also be helpful.
  • Accutane (isotretinoin), a prescription medication, can provide long-term remission of severe acne in some people. Accutane often causes side effects such as dry eyes, lips, nose, mouth and skin, itching, nosebleeds, muscle aches, sun sensitivity and poor vision at night. In rare cases, the drug may also increase risk of depression and suicide. Discuss these risks with your healthcare professional. If you feel unusually sad or overwhelmed while taking Accutane, seek medical attention immediately.
When not treated, moderate and severe acne can cause significant scarring. Cosmetic treatment for scarring includes chemical peels, dermabrasion, microdermabrasion and laser resurfacing. For deep, crater-like scars where laser resurfacing is ineffective, soft tissue augmentation can be used. This is a procedure in which your fat (from another part of your body) is used to correct deep contours, or soft tissue fillers such as collagen, hyaluronic acid or fascia lata may be used.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
There are a number of options for treating acne. There are topical creams that you can buy over-the-counter and with a prescription, as well as topical and oral antibiotics. You can try hormonal therapy to control your sebaceous glands. Using a mild and moisturizing cleanser can help to keep acne-prone skin clean, without causing further irritation or dryness.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.