These kill bacteria on your skin and/or reduce oil buildup. Topical treatments may include a retinoid, which helps the skin slough off dead cells that clog pores; prescription-strength benzoyl peroxide or antibiotics, which kill bacteria; and salicylic acid, which reduces swelling and redness and unclogs pores.
Severe, inflamed acne may be treated with oral antibiotics that kill bacteria and reduce inflammation. Birth control pills and other hormonal treatments may also be prescribed for women who have acne flare-ups timed to their menstrual cycles.
This oral retinoid medication, derived from vitamin A, works by unclogging pores and shrinking oil glands. It is typically prescribed for severe acne when other medications have failed. Your doctor will monitor you closely while you take this drug, which is sold under brand names such as Accutane, Claravis, Myorisan, and Zenatane.
Lasers and Light Therapies
Medicines activated by light or lasers kill bacteria in acne, as well as skin cells. Treats acne and reduces acne scarring.
Chemicals damage the top layer of skin to remove blackheads and solid, raised bumps (papules). Your appearance improves over a series of days or weeks, as a result of the skin’s natural healing process. Often used in combination with laser therapy and dermabrasion.
Large acne cysts may be removed during a procedure called drainage and extraction. This is typically performed when the cyst does not respond to medication. Acne removal can ease pain caused by the cyst and reduce your chance of scarring.
Reduces acne scars. A rapidly rotating brush is applied to skin numbed by a topical anesthetic. Your dermatologist uses the device to carefully damage and remove the top layer of skin. The process may cause your skin to bleed. A scab forms, but your skin’s appearance improves over several days or weeks as a result of your body’s natural healing process.
A spray removes superficial skin cells and promotes healing and the regeneration of clearer skin.