Treatments and Drugs

The treatment for acne aims at reducing sebum production, speeding up turnover of skin cells, combating bacterial infection and reducing inflammation.  Your dermatologist may prescribe oral or topical medications based on the form of acne you have.


The various acne medications include:

  • Over the counter topical medications – These are helpful for mild acne. They dry up the oil and kill the bacteria. These medications may initially cause side effects like flaking, dryness and skin irritation.
  • Prescription Topical treatments – These prevent clogging of hair follicles and promote skin cell turn-over. They even kill the bacteria. Certain side effects like burning, stinging, peeling or redness may occur on these medication intakes.
  • Antibiotics – Oral antibiotics are prescribed for moderate to severe acne to fight bacteria and reduce inflammation. Topical antibiotics may also be suggested to use along with oral antibiotics. These drugs reduce the risk of developing antibiotic resistance.
  • Isotretinoin – For severe cysts and acne scars, this works the best. This is a very effective medication, but pregnant women should quit taking this. Isotretinoin may cause many serious side effects and usually prescribed very rarely.


Therapies include laser and light based techniques. These treatments penetrate the deeper layers of the skin without causing any harm to the skin. They lessen the acne appearance and improve skin texture. These are a bit uncomfortable as they cause skin problems like severe sunburn.

Cosmetic Surgery

Chemical peels and microdermabrasion are helpful to control acne. They lessen the appearance of minor facial scars, sun damage and fine lines. They may cause skin blistering, scaling, redness and discoloration; however these effects remain for a short period.

Acne scar treatments

Dermatologists may use certain treatment techniques to clear away the acne scars. They include:

  • Soft tissue fillers
  • Chemical peels
  • Dermabrasion
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Light, laser source and radiofrequency treatments
  • Skin surgery