Acne Home > Acne Treatment

There are many different treatments for mild acne, such as gently washing the face, over-the-counter lotions, or prescription creams. Treatment for moderate to moderately severe acne can include antibiotic lotions or gels, as well as retinoic acid. To help prevent scarring, a dermatologist should recommend treatment for severe acne. Severe cases may require acne treatment in the form of oral antibiotics, Accutane, contraceptives, injections, or even surgery.

Treatment for Acne: An Overview

Acne is often treated by dermatologists (doctors who specialize in skin problems). These doctors treat all kinds of acne, particularly severe cases. Doctors who are general or family practitioners, pediatricians, or internists may treat people with milder cases of acne.
The goals of acne treatment are to:
  • Heal existing lesions
  • Stop new lesions from forming
  • Prevent scarring
  • Minimize the psychological stress and embarrassment caused by acne.

Treating Mild Acne

There are many treatments for mild acne. Mild acne can consist of whiteheads, blackheads, and small pustules.
At home, you can wash your face twice per day with warm water and a gentle cleanser or soap. Your doctor may also suggest that you try an over-the-counter lotion or cream for acne treatment. These medicines may make your skin dry if you use them too much, so be sure to follow the directions carefully.
If these acne medications don't work, your doctor may prescribe a cream or lotion with benzoyl peroxide, resorcinol, salicylic acid, or sulfur. Benzoyl peroxide works to reduce the oil made by the glands. Resorcinol, salicylic acid, and sulfur help break down whiteheads and blackheads.
If your acne does not get better after six to eight weeks, talk with your doctor about changing your acne treatment.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
List of references (click here):
Other Articles in This eMedTV Presentation

Topics & Medications


Related Channels

eMedTV Links
Copyright © 2006-2020 Clinaero, Inc.

eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind. Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click Terms of Use for more information.

This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.