The Complete Guide to Acne Treatment: Causes, Remedies, and Prevention

Acne is a common skin condition that may affect up to 50 million Americans. Also known as acne vulgaris, it can appear as cystic pimples, firm nodules, blackheads, or whiteheads. Flare-ups can occur due to hormonal reasons, or when hair follicles get trapped with dead skin cells and excess oil. Severe acne can have a profoundly negative impact on one’s confidence and self esteem, but advanced acne treatments can help.

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Acne is one of the most common skin conditions and can show up on the face or other parts of the body. From mild acne to more severe cases, there are a variety of categories of bumps and pimples that may develop on an individual's face, back, chest, and shoulders for any number of reasons. Likewise, there are different ways to treat the specific forms of acne that develop. Therefore, it is important to first discover the root cause of the acne lesions to determine an effective treatment plan.

Definitions and Terminology

Sebaceous Glands - Tiny glands found within the skin and follicles that produce an oil-like substance called sebum to waterproof and add lubrication to the hair and skin.

Sebum - The odorless oily substance created from the sebaceous glands that help to protect skin and hair, which can create a breeding ground for foul-smelling bacteria and acne when oil is overproduced.

Progesterone - The female sex hormone named progesterone is produced via the ovaries and serves to thicken the uterus lining. It assists in regulating menstrual cycles and plays a critical role in pregnancy.

Testosterone - Mainly a male sex hormone, testosterone is also found in females, at lower levels. Testosterone impacts the size and strength of the muscles and bones, the sex drive, and important substances such as sperm and red blood cell counts.

Estrogen - An essential and mainly female sex hormone, estrogen is a crucial portion of a woman’s reproductive system that is responsible for female characteristics. Men produce smaller levels of estrogen than women.

Cystic Acne - The inflamed and severe form of acne known as cystic acne often shows up as nodules filled with pus, which can be large, red, and painful.

Nodular Acne - Unlike cystic acne that produces softer bumps filled with fluid, nodular acne represents large hard lesions that often reside in deeper layers of the skin.

Blackheads - As their name suggests, blackheads are pimples that tend to have black tips. They are often the result of hair follicles that have been clogged with sebum, and the oil changes to a dark hue upon hitting the surface air.

Whiteheads - Whiteheads are also pimples resulting from clogged pores - but the white acne lesions aren’t extracted in the same manner as blackheads. Whiteheads can be small to large and enclosed within pores.

Reasons and Causes of Acne

A multitude of sources can be blamed for the formation of acne. Common factors include hormonal changes that in turn affect the sebaceous glands. When those sebum-secreting glands change it can lead to greater oil production, which can cause acne.

Events such as puberty and pregnancy, which trigger a shift in hormone levels, can make the sebaceous glands bigger and turn clear skin into skin that is marred by mild or moderate acne. Changes in the usage of birth control pills, steroid hormones, and other medications may also impact a person's hormones, potentially creating the Propionibacterium acnes (or P. acne bacteria) that can worsen skin irritation.

Types of Acne Spot Treatments

Topical treatments are known as "spot treatments" that can help address the occasional pimple that appears on the skin, but they represent only a portion of your skincare routine. Preventing bacterial skin diseases and acne flare-ups from happening in the first place is the goal.

Advanced acne problems may require more than over-the-counter solutions, with prescription acne medication becoming a necessity.

Over-the-Counter Acne Treatments Some common over-the-counter spot acne treatments include active ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide or sulfur, which are anti-inflammatory agents that reduce swelling and dry out pimples. Other skin-care products that can be purchased online or in stores to treat acne include alpha hydroxy acids like glycolic acid or beta hydroxy acids such as salicylic acid. The acids work to unclog pores and dry whitehead pimples. Tea tree oil, meanwhile, is often included as an ingredient in acne products for its antimicrobial and antiseptic properties.

Prescription Acne Medications There are several prescription medications designed to combat acne. Vitamin A-derived medications work to stop hair follicles from becoming blocked and include active ingredients such as tretinoin, adapalene, and tazarotene.

Prescription acne treatments are also at times used in conjunction with topical antibiotics to increase the effectiveness of the fight against acne. Such combination treatments may include benzoyl peroxide and are formulated in a manner that allows the user to not experience resistance to the antibiotics.

Gels containing Dapsone might also be prescribed in topical form for more severe acne. Dapsone is sold under the brand name Aczone, and helps to inhibit bacteria growth while lessening inflammation.

Each solution is accompanied by potential side effects, including possible dryness, redness, or skin irritation.

Hormonal Acne

Hormonal acne can happen to men or women at any age, but it is a form of breakout that tends to affect women usually beginning in their 20s. At this time, dramatic swings in hormone levels can happen, due to pregnancy, giving birth, and breastfeeding. However, hormonal acne can hit women older than 40 as well and can be brought on by hormone changes during menopause.

The location, appearance, and timing of hormonal acne breakouts usually indicate the cause of the flare-up. A woman who tends to develop cystic acne only monthly, around the time of her menstrual cycle, is likely suffering from hormonal acne. Cystic acne is just like it sounds: Acne that causes cysts in the skin, which may or may not be related to swaying hormones. Another telltale sign of hormonal acne breakouts is that they tend to show up on the chin, jawline, and even along the neck.

Acne in Men and Women

Certain causes of acne in women are unique to females alone, not including the natural phases of menstrual cycles, pregnancies, menopausal shifts, and more. For example, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that brings about imbalanced hormones that prompt a host of symptoms, with acne among them. Acne can be one of the most troubling symptoms of PCOS, along with irregular menstrual cycles.

Specific causes of acne that may be unique to men alone include the fact that men tend to have more facial hair than women. When men with sensitive skin shave their facial hair, skin irritations may occur, along with ingrown hairs that can prompt male adult acne and hair follicles that grow abnormally.

Although both men and women produce progesterone, testosterone, and estrogen, it is testosterone that can have a potent effect upon the sebaceous glands. Since men tend to have higher testosterone levels, the types of male acne tied to hormonal secretions can be a challenging treatment.

Acne in Teens and Adults

Whether a young person just entering puberty, or an older person dealing with adult acne, individuals suffering from breakouts often seek treatments that will not only clear their skin of acne but prevent scars, dark spots, and new pimples from occurring.

No matter the age of the acne sufferer, following the tips listed next may help stop and prevent the cycle of breakouts that can greatly impact a person's self-esteem and how they put their best face forward to the world each day.

Tips to Stop Acne: Treatments, Remedies, and Other Options

Clean Skin Nightly There is no need for a complicated routine each evening to go to bed with a clean face. Instead of allowing grime and leftover cosmetics to fester, which could provide an environment for bumps to grow, thoroughly clean the face each night. Cleaning your face becomes an easier proposition by keeping anti-acne wipes by your bedside, so even during the most tiring times, you can swipe a cleansing pad across your skin. Certain acne sufferers have found success by making a habit of cleansing their faces twice per day, instead of only in the morning.

Keep Fingers Away from the Face One habit to adopt to gain or maintain clear skin is to not transfer bacteria from the fingers to the face by not touching your face too often. Also, be mindful when talking on a phone to not have it directly on your skin as most people touch their phone constantly throughout the day.

Elimination Diet Food allergies could be a source of acne. To determine if a specific food group is causing skin problems, certain people elect to try an elimination diet. For example, a person might eliminate all gluten from his or her diet for a while to understand how their skin reacts. Next, they could cut out all dairy products from the eating plan to see if that provides clear skin. If doing so clears up the troubled skin, and reintroducing a specific food group brings the acne back, that provides necessary information as to the potential cause of the persistent pimples.

Do Not Pick at Acne When pimples pop up, it is tempting to pop them right away. After all, YouTube is filled with viral videos of dermatologists excising cystic acne lesions or ingrown hairs. However, this practice is best left to the professionals. When digging into a pimple with the fingernails or fingertips, you can potentially place bacteria or dirty residue onto the area, making it worse. Additionally, acne scars can result.

Get Chemical Peels for Acne Scars Your dermatologist may advise you to have a chemical peel to slough off dead skin cells that could be clogging your pores and lighten existing marks caused by previous breakouts. Since picking at acne may cause hyperpigmentation, having the chemical treatment will improve the discoloration and replace the outer layer of dead skin with smoother skin that has less scarring.

Switch Pillowcases Often Sleeping on a dirty pillowcase that could introduce unneeded bacteria to your face is not a good idea. Ensure you change your pillowcases to fresh ones nearly every day, and try gentler or fragrance-free laundry detergent to see if your acne lessens.

Keep Hair Off of the Face At times, products used for hair care might irritate sensitive skin. If you discover that the bangs that fall onto your forehead have frequently caused outbreaks in that region, try brushing your hair away from your face to improve your skin condition. Likewise, if hair often touches the sides of your face and that region of your cheeks shows a common pimple pattern, switch up your hairstyle to determine if residue, oil, or dirt from the hair is causing your breakouts.

Reduce Stress While it isn't clear how stress works to make acne worse, scientists have discovered that sebum cells are linked to stress hormones, and too much stress in a person's life may make their breakouts worsen. Therefore, if you discover more clogged pores and acne cycles during periods of stress, try to counteract the stressful times with exercise, relaxation, or other healthy pursuits.

Seek a Qualified Dermatologist Instead of struggling on your own with a persistent acne problem, make an appointment to visit a skin expert for help. The skin care expert should be able to advise you about your next steps in your journey to obtaining clear skin.

How to Discover the Best Acne Treatment For You

Although adhering to the previously described tips and making them part of your lifestyle habits can help to greatly reduce the instances of acne outbreaks, some individuals may discover that they need professional help to uncover problems with their specific skin type.

Acne can be troublesome and so bothersome in severe cases that it makes an impact on many different areas of the person's life - from determining their career path to how often they leave the house. Therefore, wanting to cure acne once and for all isn't a pursuit in vanity. Links between depression and psychological moods have also been noted.

Clearing skin affected with acne is a journey that requires plenty of patience, since some of the solutions mentioned in this guide may take time to see positive results. Upon visiting a dermatologist, you will learn more about the pimples causing you problems, and whether they represent cystic acne, nodular acne, or some altogether different malady.

Whereas blackheads, whiteheads, or the occasional zit might be easily treated with over-the-counter solutions, other forms of breakouts may not dissipate without prescribed treatments. Nodular acne, for example, represents a severe kind of acne that is accompanied by large and painful nodules that reside in inflamed areas deep within the layers of skin. The deep cysts tend to stay trapped within the skin and may require a round of oral antibiotics, along with other medications, to alleviate the issue.

Cystic acne, on the other hand, can be similar to nodular acne - however, the cysts contain pus that can cause infections when the cysts erupt onto the skin. Both kinds of acne may respond well to prescription-strength topical treatments offered via dermatologists, along with some of the solutions described next.

Isotretinoin (Accutane)

Isotretinoin is most often known by the brand name Accutane, although Accutane's manufacturer took the medication off the market in 2009. Hoffman-La Roche (Roche) first brought isotretinoin to the market in 1982. Since then, the drug has been surrounded by misconceptions and controversy, but some call it a miracle drug for helping to clear acne-prone skin.

Isotretinoin is a vitamin A derivative that is still available to acne sufferers in oral form under differing brand names. Accutane works as an internal retinoid of sorts and is often prescribed to individuals as a last-ditch effort when nothing else has seemed to work to clear their skin. The medication helps alleviate the main problems that cause acne. Accutane cuts down oil production, gets rid of the P. acne bacteria on the skin, reduces inflammation, and regulates the turnover of skin cells.

Many patients who take Accutane will experience improvements in four to six months, though they may be prescribed longer courses of the drug, such as nine months or more. In spite of its miraculous reputation for curing acne where other drugs have failed, Accutane is accompanied by serious warnings and potential side effects:

  • Pregnant women or those who might become pregnant should not take Accutane (Isotretinoin)
  • Severe dry lips/skin can occur when using Accutane
  • Isotretinoin may increase the risk of depression and anxiety (although proponents say it can improve depressive states caused by acne)
  • Crohn's disease development might be a risk from taking Accutane

According to PubMed, the links are weak between Accutane and alleged side effects such as suicidal thoughts, depression, and inflammatory bowel disease. However, it is clear that birth defects related to isotretinoin are a reality - so much so that women are not allowed to obtain isotretinoin each month until their physician deems them not pregnant via a pregnancy test that the FDA requires.


Spironolactone is a prescription-level diuretic that is sold under the brand names Aldactone® and CaroSpir®. Designed as a "water pill" that helps get rid of fluid retention or the swelling condition known as edema, spironolactone also treats high blood pressure and heart failure at high doses.

However, at lower doses, it can be used to treat acne in women that have PCOS and in those that don't have PCOS, on an off-label basis. Spironolactone works as an acne treatment when the steroid adjusts the levels of hormones such as aldosterone and testosterone, which can cause acne problems when the oil glands are over-stimulated.

When taking spironolactone, patients should experience fewer blocked pores and fewer breakouts. Although some women may see improvements within the first couple of weeks on the drug, it can take longer for others to reap the benefits. However, if after taking spironolactone for 12 weeks you don't experience any improvements in your condition, talk to your doctor about changing your dose or treatment plan.

Spironolactone comes with plenty of advantages, with the drug used to successfully treat some women plagued by hormonal acne. It is considered a "very safe" drug for non-pregnant women to consume.

However, there are a few potential side effects of the drug:

  • Spironolactone might cause menstrual cycle irregularities and tenderness of the breasts when taken at increased doses
  • Increased menstrual pain, spotting, and cycle length may occur
  • More frequent urination happens with spironolactone since it is a diuretic, therefore it is advised not to take the medication right before bedtime
  • Spironolactone may cause fatigue and a drop in blood pressure, which could result in tiredness
  • There is a warning on the drug due to the tumors in rats that developed
  • Sexually-active women are advised to take birth control while taking spironolactone, because of the risk of birth defects
  • Spironolactone must be continually taken to be effective

Lower doses of spironolactone are initially advised due to the impact the drug can have on the body's salts, like potassium. Even though the diuretic is known as one that spares potassium in the body, those patients taking higher doses of the drug may have blood tests completed to ensure their electrolytes are at the proper levels.

Also, speak with your physician about birth control pills that may have benefits similar to those created by Spironolactone, such as those with the brand names Yaz and Beyaz that have the progestin named drospirenone.

Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide (BPO) is an acne treatment solution that kills bacteria and comes in a variety of forms. Be they topical lotions, gels, face washes, spot treatment creams, or other products containing the bactericidal solution, they can contain anywhere from 2.5 to 10 percent of the active ingredient. The highest concentrations of benzoyl peroxide are available on a prescription basis. Consumers are generally advised to first try the lowest concentration of the treatment to determine if that is effective enough at treating their acne, and moving on to higher concentrations of benzoyl peroxide as needed.

Products containing benzoyl peroxide can be found under common brand names such as PanOxyl, the Proactiv+ 3-Step System, and many more. It helps combat bacteria that can create a plethora of pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads.

Acne lesions are often foiled by benzoyl peroxide in three ways:

  1. BPO brings oxygen into pores to cause bacteria to die
  2. Benzoyl peroxide also unclogs pores to help prevent new acne
  3. BPO is an anti-inflammatory agent to help decrease swelling, redness, and discomfort associated with acne breakouts

If you are pregnant, speak with your doctor first before using any topical antiseptic acne treatment containing benzoyl peroxide. The antimicrobial contains plenty of benefits - chief among them being the ease at which the over-the-counter acne treatment can be obtained.

However side effects also exist with benzoyl peroxide, with some people experiencing issues like the following:

  • Dry skin
  • Itchy, irritated skin

Another disadvantage of benzoyl peroxide is that the solution needs to be continually used to keep experiencing the benefits. Upon stoppage of the treatment, acne problems may return. BPO is often combined with other acne-fighting ingredients within one product, to reap the benefits of each active ingredient.

According to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide are at times combined into a single acne treatment of topical antibiotics. They combine in the gel to kill bacteria when used two times per day and comes in brand names such as Acanya®, BenzaClin®, and Duac®.

How to Prevent and Treat Acne Naturally: At Home Remedies and Natural Treatments

There is a large market of individuals who are concerned with using certain medications to treat their acne condition and prefer to attempt the natural route of treatment first. DIY acne remedies include some of the following natural cures:

Tea Tree Oil: As previously mentioned, plenty of acne products contain tea tree oil as an ingredient to help reduce acne-causing bacteria, inflammation, and redness in the affected area. Certain acne sufferers elect to use pure versions of tea tree oil, also known as Melaleuca, as a powerful astringent originating from an Australian botanical.

Honey: Lots of people may swear by using honey as a natural antibacterial solution to help with breakouts, but the truth is that it hasn't been proven that honey can kill Propionibacterium acnes. Honey might help dry up water within the pores, but not necessarily the oil wherein P. acnes may thrive. Honey contains glucuronic acid, which can help convert certain properties in the pores to hydrogen peroxide, but it is much less than that found in the liquid version of the product that can be purchased readily. Therefore, while honey may work to calm certain skin types, and fade acne marks, not everyone's acne may improve by this natural remedy.

Ice: Although frozen water might be overlooked as a natural solution in the arsenal of acne fighters, ice can help to cut down on the swelling and redness that often accompany breakouts. Therefore, wrap ice cubes within paper towels and apply them to the acne-affected skin for several minutes at a time to calm inflammation. However, be careful to not create more problems with ice burns by leaving the ice on the skin for a long time.

Turmeric: This spice has an active ingredient called curcumin, which provides more benefits than jazzing up food. Turmeric has been a popular seasoning in India and Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. The colorful turmeric is believed to help with acne scars and has been touted as an anti-inflammatory solution to help with breakouts. Turmeric can get rid of excess oil and cut down on bacteria. According to a PubMed study, a variety of curcumin concentrations helped reduce the growth of P. acnes bacteria by 50% to 96%.

Green Tea: Green tea isn't just for drinking, even though consuming one cup per day is believed to have a better effect on the skin than coffee. Some adherents believe in the anti-inflammatory effects that green tea can have on the skin, even when applied as a topical agent. Used as a face scrub, green tea may be able to calm some of the inflammation associated with acne, which is why green tea is often included in certain skin care products.

Water: If you're not a big fan of drinking water, here's one reason that may change your mind: Increasing your water intake could help clear acne. As long as you have no health conditions that preclude you from drinking the recommended amount of water each day, try replacing sugary sodas with water to determine if that helps flush more toxins from your system. Not only may increased water intake help clear toxins faster, but it will also help moisturize and hydrate your skin from the inside out. Flushing bodily waste and toxins from the body by getting sufficient amounts of water each day might be what your body is missing to improve skin texture, health, and to prevent breakouts.

Rosehip Seed Oil: The oil that is taken from the hip of a rose plant is called a variety of names. Whether you see it called rosehip seed oil, rose oil, or rose hip, the oil is the selfsame one that is comprised of linoleic acid. That acid can help cut down on acne scars and increase the hydration in the skin. Linoleic acid is beneficial in making micro-comedones smaller, which can improve a person's acne condition. It also is comprised of minimal amounts of tretinoin, which is a retinoid that can also help attack acne.

Aloe Vera Gel: The benefits of the aloe vera plant have been touted for years, with some users preferring to buy the actual aloe vera plant and break open the thicks leaves to reveal the gel inside, instead of purchasing aloe vera gel solutions from stores. The aloe vera plant gel can indeed soothe burned skin and irritations, but its effect upon treating acne hasn't been confirmed. Aloe vera does contain antibacterial properties that may benefit some acne sufferers when they directly apply the gel to acne lesions, however, it is believed that aloe vera may not penetrate deeply enough to be as effective as other acne treatments that fight the bacteria responsible for causing acne. Drinking aloe vera juice might be beneficial for certain consumers, but aloe vera alone may not help many of those who experience acne.

Urine Therapy: Acne can represent such an embarrassing and debilitating problem for some who are afflicted with the condition that they become desperate to try anything that might work, including urine therapy, as noted by PubMed. As strange as it may sound, certain proponents claim that urine's urea and uric acid content has helped improved their acne condition after urine is consumed orally and/or massaged onto the skin. The first-morning urine allegedly contains exfoliating properties and represents the most undiluted form of urine. However, experts note that urine contains mostly water - with 95% of the liquid representing water and the remaining 5% containing nutrients such as zinc, iron, calcium, and magnesium. Plus, with urine representing waste that the body is expelling, it isn't recommended to reabsorb such waste - if you're not in dire straits, such as lost in the desert or the woods, without drinkable water for days.

Myths About Acne

One of the most common myths about acne sufferers is that they simply don't clean their faces thoroughly enough, or that they eat too much chocolate. Clean your face, comes the refrain from folks who may not have suffered one day in their entire lives with bad breakouts.

However, the truth is much different for people who have been plagued with pimples that they've tried nearly everything to get rid of. Simply because a person produces more oil sebum than another does not mean they aren't cleansing their skin correctly. Instead, many acne sufferers take a long and winding road to finding a solution that works to clear their skin, and that may include seeking strong, prescription-based treatments. Unverified and Potentially Dangerous Solutions

Along with certain myths that float about the world wide web concerning acne, there are select so-called acne solutions that might end up doing more harm than good when it comes to obtaining clear skin. Here are some of the unverified solutions that could be dangerous for acne sufferers:

Coconut Oil: Even though coconut oil might be viewed as miracle oil, with proponents claiming it can grow hair, whiten teeth, and perform miraculous feats across the body - keep it out of your acne-curing regimen. Indeed, coconut oil might be wonderfully emollient and help to hydrate the skin, but its emollience can make the pores clog more, which can indeed make your acne situation worse. Therefore, the antibacterial properties found in coconut oil aren't beneficial enough for it to become an acne-fighting cureall. Any person who has used coconut oil in place of shaving cream has likely discovered a breakout as a result.

Toothpaste: Another common tip that has been spread by everyone from supermodels to DIY beauty experts on YouTube involves placing a dab of toothpaste on a pimple to have the zit dry up overnight. While toothpaste might work in a pinch, it is not an acne solution that should become part of a regimen. Not only does toothpaste dry the pimple, but it also dries any surrounding skin. And those who suffer from acne will discover that the dry and irritated skin could ultimately suffer from more acne being produced because dry skin can trick the body into making more oil, which could equal more acne. Therefore, while one pimple may go away from the dab of toothpaste, it could create an environment whereby three to five pimples replace the original acne lesion you attempted to get rid of.

Apple Cider Vinegar: The viral cure-all that is apple cider vinegar has been praised with helping people lose weight to losing their acne marks. But did you know that apple cider vinegar applied directly to the skin can cause chemical burns and irritate the skin? Therefore, be careful when attempting to see if apple cider vinegar will help your acne. Whereas apple cider vinegar's acetic acid may indeed improve acne due to its antibacterial and keratolytic properties, you will want to start slowly when introducing it into your skincare routine. Dilute one part pure apple cider vinegar with four parts of water and only apply it to a small portion of your skin to see how it reacts. If the solution doesn't bother you after you've applied it for five to 15 minutes and rinsed it off, you can add it into your routine approximately three times weekly, increasing the concentration as the apple cider vinegar works for your specific acne.

DIY Baking Soda Scrub: Any do-it-yourself face scrub recipes that contain baking soda as a component to help fight acne should be avoided. Baking soda is an alkaline that alters the skin's pH levels, which can, in turn, create a breeding ground for bacteria on the top epidermis layer of skin once it is degraded. Burned and irritated skin can be the result.

Lemon: Often the pure juice from lemons is promoted as a way to lighten acne marks and help the skin. However, the reverse could be true. The acidic nature of lemons may also change the skin's pH level, and leave it more vulnerable to scars, inflammation, and irritation. Not only that, but slathering lemon juice on your face means that your sensitive skin is more easily burned by the sun. Even diluting the lemon juice with water might be too risky.

For as long as people experience annoying acne, there will exist innovations in acne treatments. From patches to new prescription medications to a potential acne vaccine, the future looks bright in acne care innovations.

Pimple Patches Similar to how a Band-Aid protects a wound - with some of them delivering wound-healing properties - pimple patches protect and heal acne lesions. They are small acne treatments that are clear and created from hydrocolloid material, which is a thin dress comprised of gel-forming agents and adhesives that resist water.

Some pimple patches are designed to be worn as a not-readily-seen treatment that allows ingredients to fight the blemish while preventing additional elements from the environment to enter the area. The advantage of pimple patches over concealing the acne lesions with makeup is that they use gentle ingredients to fight the breakouts and prevent the pus from seeping through while sticking strongly to the skin. Varying patches may include acne-fighters such as salicylic acid, charcoal, and tomato extract. Similar to the way that Dr. Scholl's Moleskin patches work to treat and dissolve bunions, corns, and calluses on the feet, acne patches contain ingredients to help improve acne conditions.

Sarecycline This new antibiotic from Paratek Pharmaceuticals Inc. has been approved by the FDA to treat moderate to severe acne in individuals from 9-year-olds and older. Taken once per day, oral medication is derived from tetracycline. Study participants who took sarecycline for 12 weeks experienced more benefits in the treatment of their acne than those individuals who took a placebo. The drug came with a few side effects in a minor percent of the sarecycline group, including nausea, cold-like symptoms, and headaches.

Acne Vaccines In the future, according to a Journal of Investigative Dermatology32228-0/fulltext) study, an acne vaccine could be the answer to preventing the type of bacteria that causes acne. Although only tested via lab mice and in samples of human tissue thus far - with hopes of a human clinical trial being prepared - the acne vaccine might help acne sufferers not experience breakouts from toxins that show up via the skin. Such a vaccine could end up having a positive effect on millions of people who suffer from acne, even though the vaccine might be a far off reality, and only treat one of the causes of acne.


There are a variety of reasons for the development of acne. From hormones to heredity to food reactions and other causes, the number of sources of breakouts is as plentiful as the acne treatments available to cure them. Whereas certain individuals might find quick success with simple, over-the-counter cures - or even via prescription-based topical treatments - others do no. One common theme among most patients is that it takes time, patience, and sometimes several attempts to discover the best course of action to heal their acne.

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