Acne Treatment Options

Written by Emily McBride (last updated August 22, 2022)

Acne is a regular part of adolescent and sometimes even adult life. Besides affecting you physically, acne may affect you socially and psychologically well. Teenagers especially are known for their struggle with acne. They are also at an age where they are looking for acceptance from their peers, and are often uncomfortable with other parts of their changing body. Having bad acne can make people feel bad about themselves and uncomfortable when talking with others.

Fortunately, many acne treatment options are available. Different people have better success with some treatments than they do with others; you may need to experiment to see what works best for you.

Mild acne can be treated with over-the-counter options. Look for these active ingredients when you are choosing an over-the-counter acne product: benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, alpha hydroxy acids, and sulfur. These ingredients have been proven to help clear up acne by such methods as removing dead skin cells, reducing inflammation, removing excess oil, and breaking down whiteheads and blackheads. If you are not sure what you want to try first, start with benzoyl peroxide.

More severe acne may require further attention. Going to the dermatologist is a good place to start, as you will need a doctor's signature to get a prescription for any acne antibiotics. Your dermatologist can recommend certain treatments to you, which may include either over-the-counter or antibiotic treatments. Common prescriptions for acne include Tetracycline, Erythromycin, Minocycline, Doxycycline, and Clindamycin. Acne antibiotics are very strong and can have some harsh effects on your body. Make sure you talk with your dermatologist about these risks before beginning medication.

There are other ways to reduce your acne without using medication. Wash your face two times a day, try to keep your hair and bangs out of your face, and make sure you are eating a full-balanced diet with the necessary vitamins and nutrients. If you wear foundation or other face make-up, check to see if you are using oil-free products. Also, do not pick at your acne. Popping a zit may make it look better for a few minutes, but it can actually make the redness stay around even longer. Healthy habits may not get rid of your acne, but they will help your skin to be healthier nevertheless.

One of the things that will help with acne is to try to try a couple of different home remedies such as:

  • Toothpaste. Apply toothpaste (not the gel type) on the problem areas. Leave the toothpaste on for 15 minutes. Wash the toothpaste off and then apply aloe vera. Follow this routine morning and night, soon you will see a clearer face.
  • Milk of Magnesia. Cleanse the face and then apply a thin coating of Milk of Magnesia (original) all over the face, as the coating begins to dry your face will feel like it is tightening. Once dry, rinse off the Milk of Magnesia with warm water, pat dries your face with a soft cloth. If the acne is severe try leaving a thin coat on the face overnight.

Having acne can be very frustrating, but remember that many people "grow out" of their acne problems. Until then, use acne treatments to help you feel more comfortable with your face. Be patient, and don't expect these products to work overnight! It will take time for your acne to clear up.

Author Bio

Emily McBride

A senior majoring in English and editing at BYU, Emily hopes to enter the field of professional editing upon graduation. Emily has done humanitarian work in Africa and studied in London. She enjoys blogging, foreign films, and playing the piano. ...


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