Acne - Treatments

Introduction Causes Self-Care Guidelines Treatments

Topical (or external) treatments for acne include one or more creams, washes, or gels that include:
  • Antibacterial agents and antibiotics such as benzoyl peroxide, clindamycin, erythromycin, sulfur, sodium sulfacetamide, and azelaic acid.
  • Retinoids – vitamin A-derived products such as tretinoin, tazarotene, and adapalene.


Treatments for Acne oral and procedural 

Oral treatments may include:

  • Antibiotics such as tetracycline, minocycline, doxycycline, erythromycin, ampicillin, clindamycin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, azithromycin, or cephalosporins.
  • Oral contraceptives and spironolactone have been found to help regulate hormones.
  • Isotretinoin, a powerful drug with potential side effects, for severe acne unresponsive to the above treatments, or with acne that causes scarring.

 

Procedures:

  • Special "blue light" treatments are being investigated to treat acne but are usually not covered by insurance.
  • Several types of laser treatments also help acne and are often used with other treatment methods; treatments are expensive, must be repeated for several months, and have variable efficacy. Insurance may not cover laser therapy.
  • Laser resurfacing, plastic surgery, and/or dermabrasion may help reduce the prominence of old acne scars.