What are the Different Treatments for Acne?

Sarah Valek
Sarah Valek
There are various methods available to help reduce acne.
There are various methods available to help reduce acne.

Acne appears when the skin produces an overabundance of oil known as sebum. This sebum builds up, clogs pores and traps bacteria that inflame the skin, causing what are known as pimples or zits. There are many different treatments for acne, from natural remedies to prescription medications, that all focus on getting rid of excess sebum and unclogging pores.

Mild cases of acne might respond to green tea.
Mild cases of acne might respond to green tea.

Over-the-counter creams and lotions are popular treatments for acne. These treatments contain either benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid as the main ingredient. Benzoyl peroxide is one of the first proven treatments for acne and is used in many over-the-counter creams and lotions. Products containing this active ingredient are usually inexpensive and effective.

Antibiotics, prescribed by a dermatologist, are effective in treating acne in some patients.
Antibiotics, prescribed by a dermatologist, are effective in treating acne in some patients.

Benzoyl peroxide works by killing the bacteria responsible for acne, Propionibacteria acnes (P. acnes). Since P. acnes cannot live in an oxygen-rich environment, benzoyl peroxide introduces oxygen to the skin’s pores. It also cleans pores of excess skin. When used consistently, medications containing benzoyl peroxide prevent breakouts from happening in the first place.

Garlic and potatoes are common home remedies for acne.
Garlic and potatoes are common home remedies for acne.

Salicylic acid is the other popular ingredient in over-the-counter treatments for acne. This beta hydroxy exfoliates pores and helps the epidermis shed dead skin cells, leaving less acne-causing buildup in the pores. Products containing salicylic acid must also be used continuously to be effective. Regularly using facial cleansers and astringents may also help relieve acne by ridding the skin of excess oil.

Acne is caused by an overabundance of sebum oil on the skin.
Acne is caused by an overabundance of sebum oil on the skin.

Some people get rid of acne not with over-the-counter products, but with natural treatments and common sense. Though no foods are thought to cause acne, some people believe that white flour and white sugars contribute to breakouts, along with other foods high in carbohydrates. Dairy products are also linked to poor skin. Detoxification can be used as an acne treatment. Since detoxifying the body removes toxins, some people believe going on a detox will flush their skin of bacteria and buildup.

Some birth control pills can be taken to clear acne.
Some birth control pills can be taken to clear acne.

There are also natural over-the-counter acne treatments containing ingredients like tea tree oil and green tea. Tea tree oil is a strong antiseptic and green tea may be an effective treatment for mild cases of acne. Drinking plenty of water is also essential to maintain healthy skin.

If over-the-counter treatments and natural remedies aren’t working, a dermatologist may prescribe drugs as treatments for acne. A doctor may prescribe oral antibiotics, which kill any trapped bacteria in pores. Women with poor skin may be prescribed birth control pills, which contain hormones said to cause clear skin.

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    • There are various methods available to help reduce acne.
      By: Picture-Factory
      There are various methods available to help reduce acne.
    • Mild cases of acne might respond to green tea.
      By: NataliTerr
      Mild cases of acne might respond to green tea.
    • Antibiotics, prescribed by a dermatologist, are effective in treating acne in some patients.
      By: Feng Yu
      Antibiotics, prescribed by a dermatologist, are effective in treating acne in some patients.
    • Garlic and potatoes are common home remedies for acne.
      By: Cheryl Casey
      Garlic and potatoes are common home remedies for acne.
    • Acne is caused by an overabundance of sebum oil on the skin.
      By: badmanproduction
      Acne is caused by an overabundance of sebum oil on the skin.
    • Some birth control pills can be taken to clear acne.
      By: Kimberly Reinick
      Some birth control pills can be taken to clear acne.
    • A dermatologist will typically have more specialized knowledge of acne treatments than a general physician.
      By: AustralisPhotography
      A dermatologist will typically have more specialized knowledge of acne treatments than a general physician.