In addition to the acne treatment methods described in detail on the other pages of our website, there are other treatment methods available.
Some of them are more effective than others, and we don't necessarily recommend some treatments, but for the sake of providing you with the best information possible, we list all the common acne treatments not described elsewhere on our website below, along with some information about each treatment. Click a treatment on the list below to jump to the section of the page with more information:
Over the Counter Treatments
A variety of acne products can be purchased from drug store shelves without a prescription. Most of these contain chemicals such as benzoyl peroxide that is helpful with mild cases of acne, especially for people with blackheads and whiteheads.
Other forms of over-the-counter treatments may contain salicylic acid, an exfoliating chemical that helps to remove dead skin cells that build up in acne-prone pores. Usually, it takes up to 2 or 3 months for these treatments to have their optimal effects. While these and other similar products are helpful in treating mild or moderate acne, they are often not enough to achieve the best results. The addition of prescription acne treatments can be very important for an optimal response.
Chemical peels are used at the Advanced Acne Institute to provide rapid improvement in many of our patients.
Chemical peels are treatments that rely on the application of chemical agents to the skin to clear clogged pores and reduce breakouts. Some of the chemicals used in these acne treatments are glycolic acid, salicylic acid, trichloroacetic acid (TCA) and Jessner’s solution.
While each one differs in potency, tolerability, side effects and suitability for a particular patient’s skin type, all work by breaking the bonds that hold dead skin cells to the surface of the skin and inside pores. By loosening the dead skin cells and debris from the surface of the skin and within the pores, chemical peels cause the skin to exfoliate, leaving a clearer complexion behind.
Microdermabrasion provides an additional treatment option for clearing acne-prone skin at the Advanced Acne Institute.
Microdermabrasion is a form of skin exfoliation using crystals of aluminum oxide to physically remove the dry, flaky layer of dead skin cells on the skin surface. Microdermabrasion can target clogged pores in acne and acne-prone skin to promote clearing of acne breakouts.
By peeling off superficial layers of skin overlying blotchy patches, skin discoloration caused by previous acne breakouts can be improved. Another benefit of microdermabrasion is its ability to remove dead skin cell buildup that can prevent prescription creams from readily penetrating the skin surface.
By exposing the underlying normal skin, microdermabrasion treatment can help medications to be absorbed more easily and to reach deeper levels where they can be more effective. Although this treatment is very safe for most skin types, patients with sensitive skin conditions such as rosacea may require more gentle treatment parameters than patients with normal, less sensitive skin
Prescription Acne Creams
Topically applied prescription medications are usually used in the treatment of mild or moderate acne. While there are numerous creams, gels and lotions available by prescription, only your doctor can determine which ones are suitable for you.
Usually, a medicine called a retinoid, which is a derivative of Vitamin A, is one of the first topical medicines that your doctor may prescribe. Retinoids help to treat blackheads, whiteheads and pimples. Your doctor may also prescribe an antibiotic medication that is useful in killing the bacteria in inflamed pores.
Additional topical medicines, such as benzoyl peroxide, are also helpful as an early treatment since they not only help to reduce acne lesions but also help to prevent bacteria from becoming resistant to many of the antibiotics commonly used in acne treatment.
Common Acne Medicines Prescribed for Topical Application
- Clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide
- Erythromycin/benzoyl peroxide
- Adapalene/benzoyl peroxide
Medicated Injections for Treating Isolated Breakouts
At the Advanced Acne Institute, our doctors discuss rapid treatment options for patients with large or painful acne breakouts.
Sometimes a large or painful pimple or acne cyst may erupt causing significant discomfort. This type of breakout may require more immediate treatment than topical creams or oral medications can provide.
In these cases, the use of medicated injections containing cortisone is very helpful. The result of this type of acne treatment is usually very fast, causing the acne breakout to shrink and melt away quickly. While this treatment is very helpful for isolated acne breakouts, it does not prevent future breakouts and is not useful as a comprehensive acne treatment.