A Guide to Acne Medications and Treaments

acneThousands of people are affected by acne.Usually it strikes in your teen years. But not always, sometimes acne shows up due to hormonal changes during pregnancy, the menopause or even stressful times.

Typically mild to moderate acne can be tackled using store-bought creams. When acne becomes more severe the use of prescription medications and treatments can be helpful. There are quite a few treatments for acne out there and they all work with varying degrees of success. Whether you want to go down the natural route or see a doctor, there is probably a treatment that will work for you.

If you choose to see a dermatologist they will often prescribe a few treatments. Each treatment they prescribe will add to tackling acne in a variety of ways. For example they could prescribe a cream to spot treat pimples, and pills to tackle the root cause of high oil production.

In this guide we will look at the various ways to treat your acne, from store-bought creams to Accutane and other prescription drugs.

OTC Creamsacne cream

Common Over-the-counter treatments are less harsh on the skin than prescription creams. Typical ingredients include benzoyl peroxide,salicylic acid and lactic acid. These ingredients are good for tackling mild to moderate acne.

You should probably try a few of these over-the-counter options before seeing a dermatologist, you might find one that works for you and they will probably want to see that you have tried to treat your acne yourself.

It takes around a month to be able to tell if a cream is working, so give it time. You might see your acne appearing to get worse before it improves. This is often known as “purging”.

If you use one OTC treatment with salicylic acid, for example, and it doesn’t work, then do not try another one with the same key ingredient because it will probably not work for you.

Prescription Creams

After trying these OTC products you might decide that nothing is helping, and therefore a visit to a dermatologist is a necessary next step. Retin-A and Differin are two examples of creams that a dermatologist can prescribe for use on your skin. The difference between these prescribed creams and a store-bought one is that they can be much more irritating and could cause peeling and redness.

The peeling happens because these creams encourage cells to shed and new ones to form, this prevents the follicles being plugged. Doctors often recommend Retin-A for its ability to prevent acne scarring from forming.

Another type of medication they can prescribe you is a topical antibiotic that will get into the pore and kill off acne bacteria. Sometimes an antibiotic cream will be combined with a benzoyl peroxide cream for dual action, such as in Duac.

Prescribed Antibioticsacne medication

Moderate to severe acne needs a different approach, and this is where oral antibiotics come into play. They can tackle acne causing bacteria from the inside out and reduce inflammation.

You could be prescribed oral antibiotics alongside a cream for maximum results.


When acne becomes so bad that you get cysts and nodules, dermatologists have a “secret weapon” to use. It is called Accutane, a very powerful drug only given to people with very severe acne who are suffering badly with the condition.

It is seen as a last resort because there are unpleasant and dangerous side effects associated with this drugs. If you are on Accutane you will need to be monitored closely which means regular blood tests. One side effect of Accutane is birth defects in children born to women who take the drug. So you will need regular pregnancy testing alongside a prescribed contraceptive.

Hormonal Contraceptives

birth control

Hormonal contraceptives have also been shown to help acne in cases of hormonally caused acne. The theory behind this treatment is that they rebalance your hormones to stop the over production of oil.

There are side effects though, such as a risk of deep vein thrombosis and blood clots. Women with a history of these problems in their family are advised not to take hormonal contraceptives.

Laser Treatment

Laser therapy is a way to reach deep into the skin without damaging the surface layer. Laser treatment is thought to affect oil glands, training them to produce less oil. Lasers can also kill off acne bacteria. Scientists have found that laser therapy can help improve acne scarring too.

Best Acne Treatment

Before you go ahead with expensive procedures or dangerous drugs, make sure your skincare system is set in place. ClearPores is an acne treatment kit designed for body and facial skin, and containing all natural ingredients that balance your skins PH and sebum levels and unclog pores. Inflammation and redness are reduced to and when you use the kit every day you will soon be well on your way to clear skin.

Click here for a full ClearPores review

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