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Treatment for acne

A simple skin care routine can help with controlling acne

Cleanse skin twice a day with a mild ‘soap free’ liquid face cleanser which is acid and / or pH balanced and free of abrasives and alcohol. Choose a moisturiser labelled non-comedogenic. This means it has been specially tested in acne prone individuals and has been proven not to clog pores and worsen acne.

Skin care products containing ingredients such as salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide can be effective for people with mild acne and are widely available without a prescription.

Antibiotics that treat acne come in two different forms – topical (applied directly to skin) or oral (swallowed in tablet form). Both types reduce the presence of bacteria in the skin and also have an anti-inflammatory effect.

Oral antibiotics are generally used when acne has become moderate to severe. They may be used on their own or with a topical treatment. There is also a treatment that combines an antibiotic with benzoyl peroxide.

Some low dose, very low dose oestrogen and anti-androgen contraceptive pills can also help some women to control their acne. Just regulating a menstrual cycle with a combined oral contraceptive pill can help acne.

Retinoids are vitamin A derivatives. They have proven very effective at unblocking pores of acne spots and preventing new blockages from developing, making them highly effective in treating and preventing the formation of pimples. They are available as topical or oral treatments. A combination retinoid plus benzoyl peroxide is also an option.

Isotretinoin tablets are the most effective treatment for severe acne as they address all known causes of severe cystic acne. They work by unblocking and preventing further blockage of pores, reducing sebum or oil production and soothing the redness and inflammation of acne.

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