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How long does it take for most acne medications to start working?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
You should consult a dermatologist for specific questions about acne medications. Within six to eight weeks, most treatment should result in improved skin. However, you may not see completely clear skin for about six months.

Most acne medications take a few weeks, or even a few months, before there's a noticeable improvement. In fact, some medications might cause acne to get worse before it gets better. Both topical and oral medications need at least a few weeks to start working, since they often require a little time for the antibacterial properties to kill bacteria in the skin, or they take time for the body to "rebalance" its hormones. Don't get discouraged if you don't see an immediate improvement in your skin after starting a new treatment. Talk to a doctor if you're concerned about the effectiveness of your medication.

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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.