How To Get Rid Of Acne Fast? Here Are Top 15 Treatments

There are so many different ways to get rid of acne, so determining the best and fastest acne treatment for your skin can be daunting. Continue reading to find out which acne treatments are the most effective and worth your money.
DISCLAIMER: If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please talk to your doctor. Our content is based on research that has been reviewed by experts in the field and on information from medical societies and government agencies. But they are not a replacement for advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a health care professional.
How To Get Rid Of Acne Fast
This article will cover topical, oral acne medications, therapies, alternative medicine, and anecdotal acne remedies.

Table Of Contents

TreatmentResults In
1. Retinoids12 weeks
2. Topical antibiotics6 weeks
3. Benzoyl peroxide4 weeks
4. Azelaic acid4 weeks
5. Salicylic acid6-8 weeks
6. Oral antibiotics2 weeks
7. Birth control pills4 weeks
8. Isotretinoin8-12 weeks
9. Blue light therapy4 weeks
10. Chemical peel10 weeks
11. ExtractionImmediate
12. Cortisone injection24 hours
13. Alternative medicineUnconfirmed
14. Lifestyle remediesUnconfirmed
15. Anecdotal remediesUnconfirmed

Topical medications

A topical medication means that it is applied to the skin on the body. Topical administration refers to using a wide range of products, such as creams, foams, gels, lotions, and ointments, to treat illnesses on the body surface, such as acne. Many topical medications to get rid of acne are epicutaneous, which means they’re applied directly to the skin.

Topical medications can also be used to protect and nourish the skin. Some topical medicines are intended to treat a specific area, while others affect the entire body after being absorbed via the skin.


topical retinoids

When using retinoids, you can expect to see a noticeable improvement in your acne in 12 weeks.

Acne treatments using topical retinoids are widely popular and effective. The term “topical retinoids” refers to a class of drugs made from synthetic vitamin A.

Tretinoin and tazarotene are two topical retinoids that are used to get rid of acne. Adapalene is more appropriately classified as a retinoid-like molecule, although it’s typically lumped in with the topical retinoid group because it functions similarly.

Topical retinoids encourage skin cell turnover, preventing blocked pores and comedones. Mild to moderate outbreaks, as well as severe acne, are treated with topical retinoids. 

Another benefit of topical retinoids, particularly tretinoin, is that they are effective in anti-aging therapy. Retinoids are a standard therapy option for adult-onset acne patients since they can minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

A flare-up of acne is a common side effect of topical retinoid treatment during the first few weeks.

These are the most common topical retinoids used to get rid of acne:

Differin (Adapalene)

Differin (Adapalene) acne treatment

When using Adapalene, you can expect to see a noticeable improvement in your acne in 12 weeks.

Adapalene is more commonly known by the commercial name Differin. It’s also found in the drug Epiduo. Adapalene, or any other name for it, is a retinoid-like chemical used to treat mild to moderate acne. Adapalene comes in several topical formulations, including lotions, creams, and gels, and is only available with a prescription.

How it works

Adapalene works to get rid of acne by increasing the rate at which your cells turn over. In layman’s terms, it’s described as a keratolytic or an exfoliator. It prevents dead skin cells and oil from clogging your pores and the formation of comedones. Adapalene aids in the prevention of pimples and blackheads. It also aids in the reduction of inflammation.

Depending on your dermatologist’s recommendation, you’ll apply Adapalene once or twice a day. For the entire face, only a pea-sized amount is required. Following application, you may experience a little stinging or burning sensation. Don’t worry; this sensation is expected and will pass in a few minutes.

This medication should not be applied to individual pimples. Because Adapalene prevents spots from growing beneath the skin’s surface, treating existing pimples will not be beneficial. To work correctly, you must use it all over your face as a moisturizer.

Don’t be surprised if you continue to break out when you initially start treatment. Try not to be discouraged; it’s completely natural. It may take several weeks before you notice any changes in your skin. Before determining its effectiveness, to get rid of acne, continue to use Adapalene regularly for at least 12 weeks.

Side effects

Adapalene side effects

Although Adapalene is less irritating than other topical retinoids to get rid of acne, it might have adverse effects. The following are a few of the most common:

  • Flaking, peeling, or dryness
  • Irritation and redness
  • Itching, stinging, or mild burning

These effects are usually the most severe during the first few weeks of treatment and gradually fade away. Notify your dermatologist if Adapalene causes more than moderate irritation. Adapalene can also produce an allergic reaction known as contact dermatitis on rare occasions.

It will usually be minor and transitory, and it’ll go away on its own without therapy. It can also trigger anaphylaxis, a severe, all-over reaction that necessitates immediate medical attention.

Useful tips

When using Adapalene, there are a few things you should do (and not do) to have the best results:

  • Apply a moisturizer to your skin. Adapalene will almost certainly dehydrate you. When needed, use an oil-free moisturizer to avoid causing outbreaks.
  • Apply sunscreen to your skin. Adapalene might make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so avoid tanning beds and sitting out.
  • Waxing should be avoided. Do you have your brows waxed or your lips waxed? If you’re taking Adapalene, you’ll need to quit these cosmetic treatments, or your skin may be very irritated and possibly injured. Tweezing is acceptable.

Finally, don’t hesitate to contact your dermatologist’s office if you have any questions or concerns. In some cases, to get rid of acne, your doctor may be able to recommend products that are more suited to your skin type.

Retin-A Cream (Tretinoin)

Retin-A (Tretinoin) acne treatment

When using Retin-A Cream, you can expect to see a noticeable improvement in your acne in 12 weeks.

Retin-A (tretinoin) is a prescription acne treatment applied directly to the skin.

It may help with inflammatory acne, which causes swelling and pimples deep beneath the skin. It also works well on comedonal acne, characterized by blackheads or whiteheads.

Retin-A belongs to a class of drugs known as topical retinoids produced from vitamin A and are available as a gel, cream, or liquid. It works by kicking off a process that improves the pace of skin cell creation, resulting in fewer pores being blocked.

To get rid of acne, there are low-cost generics offered under the label tretinoin topical in addition to brand-name Retin-A treatments.

How to use it

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Retin-A to get rid of acne vulgaris. This is the most prevalent type of acne, which includes blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, and inflammatory and non-inflammatory skin lesions.

Retin-A is a comedolytic, which means it stops pores from clogging. It accomplishes so via attaching to receptors on keratinocytes, a kind of skin cell. This inhibits the effects of hormones that control cell shedding.

As a result, cell turnover improves. This indicates that old cells are being replaced by new cells, which are being created faster. When this happens, aged cells push to the surface rather than accumulating and obstructing pores.

Retin-A has an exfoliating impact as well. This evens out the skin’s texture and helps big pores appear smaller. Acne scars on the surface may appear less noticeable. Hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin induced by inflammation) may also be reduced.

Other applications

Aside for the purpose to get rid of acne, some people use Retin-A as an anti-aging product. It is supposed to diminish fine lines and wrinkles while brightening and smoothing the skin.

It appears to enhance cell turnover in lab experiments involving human skin samples. According to studies, it also triggers a cell type that secretes collagen, a protein that gives skin its suppleness.

Retin-A has been found in human studies to increase the thickness of the outer skin layer (epidermis). After 12 weeks of use, it may also reduce facial wrinkles. People who suffer from photoaging, or premature skin aging caused by excessive exposure to UV radiation, may gain the most from these benefits.

Retin-A is often used to address hyperpigmentation or photoaging rather than for cosmetic purposes because it can irritate the skin. Hydroquinone and topical corticosteroids are frequently used in conjunction with it.


Retin-A 0.05% precautions

Retin-A should be part of a comprehensive acne treatment regimen under physician supervision. This should involve applying good sunscreen (minimum SPF 15), wearing UV-protective clothes, and avoiding prolonged exposure to the sun.

Before beginning treatment, inform your healthcare provider if you use another over-the-counter or prescription medication to get rid of acne. When it comes to acne treatment, more isn’t always better. You may need to stop taking your existing acne treatment before starting Retin-A.

It would be best to go over your regular skincare routine with your healthcare practitioner. Because Retin-A can irritate the skin, your healthcare provider or dermatologist may advise you to switch to a different cleanser, astringent, or exfoliant.


Before sleep, Retin-A is applied once a day. Apply just enough to cover the affected area lightly. Using a heavy layer will not improve outcomes and may even irritate the skin.

Retin-A should not be used on the corners of the eyes, nose, or mouth. It should not be used on open wounds since it will cause discomfort and inflammation.

Sun, wind and cold should all be avoided. After starting tretinoin, your skin will be more sensitive to the elements for several months. If you want to get rid of acne, it is recommended that you use sunscreen every day.

Retin-A cream, gel, and liquid are safe to store at temperatures below 80 degrees Fahrenheit. You are not required to keep the medication in the refrigerator, although you may do so if there is a risk of overheating.

Retin-A Micro

Retin-A Micro acne treatment

When using Retin-A Micro, you can expect to see a noticeable improvement in your acne in 12 weeks.

Retin-A Micro is a topical gel that can be used to get rid of acne. It is appropriate for both teens and adults.

This topical gel has four strengths:

  • 0.1 percent
  • 0.08 percent
  • 0.06 percent
  • 0.04 percent

Your dermatologist will assist you in getting the strength you require.

How it works

Retin-A Micro helps get rid of acne by lowering keratin, debris, and oil buildup in the skin’s pores (AKA comedones). It also increases the rate of cell turnover—this aids in reducing the number of dead skin cells and excess oil in the pores.

Existing comedones are made less sticky by Retin-A Micro, making them easier to evacuate from the pore. Pimples are reduced when pore blockages are reduced, and your skin becomes clearer.

Both inflammatory and non-inflammatory acne can be treated with Retin-A Micro.

Retin-A Micro vs Retin-A

Despite their similar names, Retin-A Micro is not the same as Retin-A. Although they are similar, they are not the same medication.

The active ingredient in both Retin-A Micro and Retin-A is tretinoin. On the other hand, Retin-A Micro releases the medicine more slowly over time. As a result, Retin-A Micro is likely to be less irritating than Retin-A.

How to use it

To get rid of acne you’ll start by applying Retin-A Micro every night before bed, on average three times a week, then gradually work your way up to using it every night as your skin adjusts. First, wash your face well with a light cleanser and pat dry. Before applying Retin-A Micro, make sure your skin is fully dry and use it on your entire face.

Acne medicines can easily irritate the delicate areas around your lips and the corners of your nose. Try to stay away from these regions.

Dryness and peeling can be reduced by using an oil-free moisturizer. Because tretinoin (the active ingredient in Retin-A Micro) can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher is advisable.

Although some people get results right away, others will need to take this drug for several weeks before noticing any changes. An effort to get rid of acne will require patience.

Topical Antibiotics

Topical antibiotic

When using topical antibiotics, you can expect to see a noticeable improvement in your acne in 6 weeks.

Antibiotics applied topically are now widely accepted as an effective and safe method to get rid of acne. According to a review of articles published in the last 30 years, topical application of antibiotics such as erythromycin, clindamycin, or tetracycline showed clinical effectiveness for mild to moderate inflammatory acne, especially when combined with zinc, tretinoin, or benzoyl peroxide, while they had little effect on noninflammatory acne.

Topical antibiotics to get rid of acne primarily work by inhibiting bacterial inflammation rather than having a direct bactericidal impact. The side effects of topical antibiotics are usually small and insignificant, but the risk of developing resistant Propionibacterium acnes strains should be taken seriously. New antibiotics are being developed, which will provide a more extensive range of therapeutic alternatives for refractory cases.

Antibiotics suppress bacteria and inflammation, but they do not affect pore blockages and microcomedone production (the tiny beginnings of a pimple under the skin). Combining topical antibiotics with another acne medication ensures that you’re treating all causes of acne, not just bacteria, resulting in a more effective treatment regimen.

  • A good option is benzoyl peroxide. It can help prevent the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria by working effectively with topical medicines.
  • Another option that works well with topical antibiotics is topical retinoids. These exfoliate your skin quickly, preventing the production of comedones.
  • Although spironolactone or birth control pills aren’t widely used, they can be beneficial in some circumstances where hormonal changes are causing acne breakouts.

The possible side effects vary depending on the drug, but most people have no trouble using topical antibiotics. When side effects do occur, they are usually not too severe.

You may experience skin dryness, flakiness, or mild peeling. When you apply your medication, it may burn or sting a little. Some topical antibiotic medicines might cause minor skin irritation.

To learn more about topical antibiotics read: What Are Topical Antibiotics For Acne Treatment?


Clindamycin gel

When using Clindamycin, you can expect to see a noticeable improvement in your acne in 4-6 weeks.

Clindamycin is a topical antibiotic that a doctor can prescribe to get rid of acne. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, clindamycin is a first-line acne treatment for mild to moderate acne.

Clindamycin for topical use is available as a foam, a gel, a solution (liquid), a lotion, and a pledget (swab). Once a day, the foam and one type of gel (Clindagel®) are generally prescribed. Most brands of gel and the solution, lotion, and pledgets are applied twice a day.

Every day, at roughly the same time, apply topical clindamycin. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and if there is anything you don’t understand, ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain it to you. Follow the directions for using topical clindamycin exactly. Please do not use more or less of it or apply it more frequently than your doctor recommends.

Clindamycin topical is solely for use on the skin to get rid of acne. Do not swallow the medication, and keep it away from your eyes, nose, mouth, and vaginal area. If the medicine gets into your eyes, nose, or mouth, or if you have broken skin, rinse it out thoroughly with cool water.

If you start to see benefits, don’t stop taking clindamycin. When you finish an entire course of antibiotics, the clindamycin will kill the bulk of the bacteria. Stopping too soon can put you at risk of developing antibiotic resistance.

Antibiotics like clindamycin are frequently prescribed as short-term treatments by doctors. You’ll use them for 3 to 4 months with benzoyl peroxide and, perhaps, a retinoid.

After this period, your doctor may advise you to discontinue topical clindamycin but continue to use other topical preparations such as benzoyl peroxide or retinoids.

Clindamycin topical use might cause adverse effects, just like any other medicine. An allergic reaction or hypersensitivity are examples of this.

As a result of an allergic response, you may suffer swelling, itching, or hives. Stop using topical clindamycin and tell your doctor if you suspect you’re having an allergic reaction to it.


Topical Erythromycin 0.5%

When using Erythromycin, you can expect to see a noticeable improvement in your acne in 3-4 weeks.

Erythromycin is an antibiotic applied topically to the skin to treat inflammatory acne. From lotions, gels, and ointments to toner-like solutions and pledgets, it comes in various forms (small pads soaked in the medicated solution, similar to a Stridex pad).

A proliferation of acne-causing bacteria within the pore is the reason acne develops. Antibiotics like erythromycin help to reduce the number of germs that cause acne. The use of topical erythromycin can also help to reduce inflammation and redness.

Using topical erythromycin to get rid of acne isn’t always the best option. It isn’t very effective against acne, and there are lots of other solutions.

Only one acne-causing factor is targeted by topical erythromycin: bacteria. Other causes of acne breakouts, such as abnormal skin cell shedding and pore-clogging, aren’t addressed by topical erythromycin.

Antibiotic resistance is a significant concern with topical medicines, especially erythromycin. Because the acne-causing bacteria has become accustomed to the treatment, it is no longer effective.

Erythromycin is, nevertheless, the best therapeutic option in some circumstances. For example, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. It may also be used to treat newborn baby acne and infantile acne if necessary.

If your dermatologist recommends topical erythromycin to get rid of acne, there are a few things you can do to obtain the best results.

To begin, do not rely solely on erythromycin to manage acne. It works substantially better when used with another acne treatment, such as benzoyl peroxide or a topical retinoid.

Benzamycin is a combination of topical erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide to get rid of acne. This simplifies your treatment process by combining two acne-fighting chemicals into a single product.

Second, topical erythromycin should only be used for a brief period to prevent bacterial resistance. You can stop taking erythromycin after your inflammation has subsided. However, keep using your second acne medication to keep your acne under control and continue to reduce breakouts.

Topical erythromycin treatment can stop functioning over time is one disadvantage. Bacteriological resistance is to blame for this. If it isn’t working or your acne returns after it has cleared up, consult your dermatologist.

The majority of people have no issues using topical erythromycin. If you experience adverse effects, they’ll be moderate irritation, burning or stinging, redness, and dry skin, which are all common with such acne treatments.

Aczone (Dapsone)

dapsone gel

When using Aczone, you can expect to see a noticeable improvement in your acne in 4 weeks, and up to 12 weeks for the treatment to have its full effect.

Aczone is the brand name for the acne treatment Dapsone, which is only available with a prescription. It’s used to get rid of acne vulgaris that’s mild to moderate. It comes in a gel that you apply directly to your skin.

Aczone (dapsone) can treat both facial and body acne. It’s beneficial for inflammatory acne breakouts and effective for non-inflammatory acne breakouts like blackheads.

Dapsone is an antibiotic that reduces the number of Propionibacteria acnes in the body (the bacteria that cause acne breakouts). It functions similarly to topical antibiotics like erythromycin or clindamycin in this way. Because the active ingredient in Aczone, dapsone, is a sulfone antibiotic, the medicine is technically an antibiotic.

Aczone can be used alone or in combination with other acne medicines, both topical and oral. This will aid to get rid of acne and provide you with better outcomes. If this is the best treatment strategy, your healthcare practitioner or dermatologist will let you know.

However, if you use Aczone with benzoyl peroxide, your skin may turn yellow, orange, or brown for a short time. This hue can usually be washed away, so don’t be concerned. However, you don’t want to be out and about before noticing that your acne medication has tinted your complexion an odd color.

To avoid this, make sure each drug is completely absorbed before moving on to the next. Alternatively, apply benzoyl peroxide in the morning and Aczone at night, or the other way around.

As far as acne medicines go, it’s pretty gentle. Aczone can be a helpful alternative if topical retinoids (like Retin-A or Differin) are too much for your skin to take, leaving it dry, red, and peeling. It isn’t nearly as harsh on the skin as topical retinoids.

You should apply a pea-sized amount twice a day to acne-prone areas. Gently but thoroughly massage in. It’ll take a while to absorb.

Dryness, peeling, and redness of the skin are all side effects of aczone. It might also make the skin oilier for some people.

Results can start as early as one month, but it takes three months to reach its peak effect.


When using Tetracycline, you can expect to see a noticeable improvement in your acne in 6 weeks.

Tetracycline is not commonly used as a topical treatment, but it is available in various strengths as an ointment and a solution. Tetracycline contains sodium bisulfite, a sulfa derivative that might cause allergic reactions in certain people. It can also cause the skin to turn yellow.


When using Metronidazole, you can expect to see a noticeable improvement in your acne in 6 weeks.

Metronidazole is a 0.75 percent gel commonly used to get rid of acne caused by rosacea. It’s used once or twice a day and is generally well accepted. However, it can irritate some people.

Benzoyl peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide molecule

When using Benzoyl peroxide, you can expect to see a noticeable improvement in your acne in 4 weeks, and up to 2-4 months for the treatment to have its full effect.

Benzoyl peroxide has three functions: it destroys bacteria, decreases inflammation, and aids in the unplugging of blocked pores. You can purchase 5 percent benzoyl peroxide gel or liquid wash (Acnecide®) at a pharmacy without a prescription.

Many well-known skincare brands also make products to help get rid of acne with benzoyl peroxide, although at a lower concentration. These can be found in pharmacies, supermarkets, and retail stores. Clean & Clear, Neutrogena, and Clearasil are among the brands available.

Combination acne treatments with benzoyl peroxide are also available. It can be used with an antibiotic called clindamycin (named “Duac® Once Daily”) or adapalene (named “Epiduo®”), which is used to get rid of acne. These preparations require a doctor’s prescription and should be used according to the doctor’s instructions.

The antimicrobial properties of benzoyl peroxide help reduce the amount of acne-causing bacteria on the skin. There are fewer outbreaks when there are fewer bacteria. Benzoyl peroxide also aids in the prevention of pore clogs. It’s the most effective over-the counter treatment to get rid of acne.

Like many acne medicines, benzoyl peroxide can cause dryness and peeling. The most typical side effect is dry skin.

The best way to avoid this is to take it carefully at first, giving your skin time to adjust to the prescription. For a week or two, try using it every other day. It’s also a good idea to use a good moisturizer.

Because benzoyl peroxide might make your skin more sun-sensitive, it’s essential to use sunscreen every day.

Some people, especially susceptible skin, cannot tolerate benzoyl peroxide. Yes, some people are allergic to this drug. However, a benzoyl peroxide allergy differs from common side effects.

Like all treatments, benzoyl peroxide takes time to work. You may need to wait eight to ten weeks or perhaps more before noticing much difference in your skin. And even longer to completely get rid of acne.

Don’t worry, and you’ll still receive new breakouts. Breakouts will gradually become fewer and farther between over several weeks.

If you haven’t seen any improvement after using an OTC benzoyl peroxide solution for more than 12 weeks, it’s time to contact a doctor for a prescription drug (or to change your current prescription treatment).

Azelaic acid

Azelaic acid molecule

When using Azelaic acid, you can expect to see a improvement in your acne in 4 weeks, and up to 3 to 4 months for the treatment to have its full effect.

Azelaic acid is a naturally occurring acid found in barley, wheat, and rye grains.

It has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects, making it helpful in treating skin conditions such as acne and rosacea. The acid can prevent future breakouts and remove germs that cause acne.

Azelaic acid is a type of azelaic acid applied to the skin in the form of a gel, foam, or cream. Prescription topical treatments are sold under the brand names Azelex and Finacea. They have at least 15% azelaic acid in them. Smaller levels are found in several over-the-counter products.

Azelaic acid isn’t often a dermatologist’s first choice to recommend to get rid of acne, because it takes some time to work. Skin blistering, dryness, and peeling are some of the acid’s adverse effects.

In addition to eliminating acne-causing bacteria, azelaic acid has mild exfoliating qualities that can help remove dead skin cells from the stratum corneum, the skin’s very outer layer, resulting in a smoother and brighter complexion.

Azelaic acid, according to research, is a skin brightener that can aid with hyperpigmentation (such as melasma and post-acne dark patches) in all skin tones by indirectly eliminating melanocytes, which create melanin.

Azelaic acid may be used to treat and prevent acne scars because it is so good at eliminating hyperpigmentation and soothing inflammation.

Azelaic acid is available in two concentrations: 15 percent (Finacea) and 20 percent (Azelaic acid) (Azelex). Both are available in azelaic acid gel or azelaic acid foam type.

Although the azelaic acid 20 percent formulation has been approved for acne treatment, a 2018 study published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology reveals that the azelaic acid 15 percent formulation is both effective and safe in the treatment of moderate to severe acne.

Azelaic acid is typically regarded as safe during pregnancy, unlike some acne treatments (such as retinoids and benzoyl peroxide). According to the American Academy of Dermatology, there is no research on pregnant humans. Still, data from animal studies suggests that it does not cause birth problems when administered to the skin.

Some people may notice a difference in four to six weeks, if not sooner. Some people see results in as little as a week if they’re using it to treat pigmentation concerns.

Salicylic acid

Salicylic acid molecule

When using Salicylic acid, you can expect to see a noticeable improvement in your acne in 6-8 weeks.

Salicylic acid is a popular ingredient in acne-fighting skincare treatments. It exfoliates the skin and unclogs congested pores.

Salicylic acid has several skin benefits and can significantly improve your overall appearance or complexion. Let’s look at what salicylic acid is and how it helps get rid of acne, and to understand this ingredient better.

Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid related to alpha hydroxy acid. Salicylic acid is used to get rid of acne, as well as warts and psoriasis, and to minimize the effects of aging.

Salicylic acid is naturally found in white willow bark and wintergreen, although it can also be manufactured (created in a lab). Its ability to penetrate the follicle increases the shedding of dead skin cells from within the follicle, which helps maintain the pores clear. It’s ideal for breakouts and blackheads that aren’t irritated. Salicylic acid also aids in the reduction of oil production and irritation.

Salicylic acid isn’t the most effective acne therapy when used alone. However, its claim to fame is its potential to aid in the penetration of other acne-fighting ingredients.

Gels, lotions, creams, ointments, soaps, medicated pads, toners, and peels are just a few examples of topical salicylic acid. When using salicylic acid, it’s essential to follow the directions on the label or, as suggested by your healthcare professional.

Many over-the-counter acne remedies contain salicylic acid, including cleansers, toners, medicated pads, and lotions. Salicylic acid treatments range in strength from 0.5 percent to 2 percent.

Mild pimples and comedonal acne respond best to over-the-counter salicylic acid. It won’t help if you have more severe acne; you’ll need prescription therapy.

To effectively get rid of acne, make sure you apply salicylic acid to the entire face or affected body area, regardless of your product type. It won’t assist if you only dab it on the visible pimples. Apply to the entire area to avoid pore blockages and aid in the removal of microcomedones (tiny blemishes too minor to see yet).

Salicylic acid is safe to use for the majority of people. When using salicylic acid, however, you may have some side effects, including:

  • Dryness
  • Flaking and peeling
  • Burning or stinging
  • Inflammation of the skin

The majority of side effects are minor annoyances that can usually be avoided by using an oil-free moisturizer daily.

It may take 6-8 weeks to see the benefits when using salicylic acid. If your acne does not improve after this time, you should consult a doctor or dermatologist for guidance on alternative treatment options.

Oral medications

oral medications for acne

Acne can be challenging to cure, without a doubt. Oral acne medications are usually the next step in the treatment process if you’ve tried multiple topical drugs without results or if you have a severe case of acne. There are several options available to you to help get rid of acne. Each one has its own set of dangers and rewards.

This article goes through the different types of oral acne treatments that can help improve the appearance and health of your skin.

Oral drugs, or those taken by mouth, function systemically (all over the body) to improve the skin.

Some oral drugs must be taken only once a day, while others must be taken more frequently. Regardless, it would be best if you took your dose(s) daily at the same time(s).

Acne that is persistent or severe is tough to treat. These types of acne almost always necessitate the use of oral medicines. Cystic acne and nodular acne are two terms used to describe severe acne.

Acne can also appear on other body parts, such as your back or shoulders. It can be hard to access certain places and apply topical treatments effectively. On the other hand, oral acne meds can treat pimples that are severely inflamed regardless of their location.

Even if your acne isn’t terrible, it could be persistent. Even if you use topical therapies, your skin may still not clean up. If this is your case, oral drugs can help you achieve actual results by giving your treatment a boost.

In any event, consult a dermatologist if you’re having trouble managing your acne. All oral acne medications are only available with a prescription. There are no over-the-counter substitutes available.

Oral antibiotics

oral antibiotics for acne

When using oral antibiotics, you can expect to see a noticeable improvement in your acne in 2 weeks, and up to 12 weeks for the treatment to have its full effect.

For many years, oral antibiotics have been used to get rid of acne. Oral antibiotics, like topical antibiotics, reduce Propionibacteria acnes. Acne is caused by a bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes. Oral antibiotics can also help to reduce skin inflammation.

Dermatologists frequently begin with a high dose. As their acne improves, patients are moved to lesser dosages. Oral antibiotics are used to treat moderately severe, severe, or persistent acne.

The following are the most commonly prescribed oral antibiotics to get rid of acne:

  • Adoxa (tetracycline)
  • Dynacin (minocycline)
  • Acticlate (doxycycline)

When used with topical acne treatments, oral antibiotics are most effective. Your doctor may also prescribe topical retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, or another topical treatment.

Adoxa (tetracycline)

adoxa 100mg

Adoxa (doxycycline) is a tetracycline antibiotic that can be used to treat a variety of bacterial infections, including urinary tract infections, get rid of acne, gonorrhea, and chlamydia, as well as periodontitis (gum disease). Adoxa is also used to treat rosacea-related blemishes, pimples, and acne-like lesions.

The typical adult dose of oral Adoxa is 200 mg on the first day of treatment (100 mg every 12 hours or 50 mg every 6 hours), followed by a 100 mg/day maintenance dose. The maintenance dose is 50 mg once a day or 50 mg every 12 hours.

Adoxa takes a while to slow the proliferation of acne-causing germs. It may take up to 3 months to see results after taking doxycycline for two weeks.

Dynacin (minocycline)

Dynacin for acne

Minocycline belongs to the tetracycline class of antibiotics, which inhibit bacteria from producing the proteins they need to grow.

Your doctor may prescribe minocycline if you have inflamed acne that hasn’t responded to other antibiotics, such as doxycycline. Doxycycline is a member of the tetracycline family, like minocycline, although it is milder and has fewer side effects.

Minocycline also has anti-inflammatory effects, which can aid with inflamed acne’s redness and swelling. In addition to minocycline, your doctor may prescribe another medication, such as a topical acne cream.

Your doctor would most likely prescribe Dynacin, a kind of minocycline that comes in a slow-release capsule, to get rid of acne.

Minocycline can be taken on any day, with or without meals. However, it’s essential to drink a full glass of water with each dose to avoid esophageal or stomach irritation. Don’t take more than your doctor has prescribed. This can make you more susceptible to side effects.

For some people, minocycline is ineffective. Certain drugs may reduce the effectiveness of minocycline or increase the risk of severe adverse effects.

One or two times a day, 50 to 100 milligrams (mg) is a typical starting dosage. Once your acne is under control, you’ll gradually stop using minocycline. Acne can generally be controlled with only topical therapies at this time.

Minocycline use can cause bluish staining of the gums, mouth, skin, nails, tears, and urine. It usually only happens after a lengthy period of use and is reversible.

Doryx (doxycycline)

Doryx for acne treatment

Doxycycline, available under the brand names Doryx, Vibramycin, Oracea, and Adoxa, is the most widely prescribed antibiotic in pill or capsule form to get rid of acne.

Doxycycline is an effective oral drug if you have back or body breakouts. Topical treatments applied directly to the skin can be challenging to reach in some spots.

Doxycycline reduces inflammation, which aids in the healing of pustules and cysts, which are red or pus-filled pimples. However, it is less helpful in treating non-inflamed acne lesions like blackheads and milia. You’ll need a different kind of acne treatment to get those blemishes under control.

If you want to use doxycycline, you’ll need a doctor’s prescription. Doses range from 40 mg once a day (unusual) to 100 mg twice daily. Doxycycline will very likely be used with one or more topical acne medications, such as benzoyl peroxide or topical retinoids. This method will give you better and quicker results.

The antibiotic doxycycline can make you feel sick and upset your stomach. It may be beneficial to take the pill with food, but dairy products should be avoided. It reduces the efficacy of doxycycline. Therefore avoid dairy products for at least an hour.

Doxycycline takes time to work, much like other treatments to get rid of acne. Although your acne may improve in as little as two weeks, the full benefit of the treatment may take up to 12 weeks (or three months). When you notice less acne appearing, and your skin starting to seem clearer, you’ll know doxycycline is working for you.

Birth control pills (BCP)

oral contraceptives for hormonal acne

When using birth control pills, you can expect to see a noticeable improvement in your acne in 2 weeks, and up to 12 weeks for the treatment to have its full effect.

For decades, dermatologists have used birth control pills (BCP) to get rid of acne in women. However, only three pills have been approved by the FDA to get rid of acne.

Birth control is often recommended for healthy women who require contraception to get rid of acne. It is usually used when other acne treatments have failed to clear the skin, such as topical creams and oral antibiotics.

Hormones and acne have a clear association, as any adolescent knows. Some women have premenstrual acne flare-ups as their hormone levels fluctuate over their cycle. Acne can also last a lifetime for some women, even beyond menopause.

Androgens are generally produced in small amounts by a woman’s ovaries and adrenal glands. Higher doses of androgens can cause excess sebum. The number of androgens in your body is reduced when you use birth control pills that include estrogen and progesterone. As a result, there is less sebum, and acne is less severe.

Types of BCP to get rid of acne

New kinds of birth control have exploded in popularity during the last decade. However, the FDA has only approved three forms of birth control pills to get rid of acne thus far. All three oral contraceptives are “combination” contraceptives, including estrogen and progesterone. Only progesterone-containing birth control pills can worsen acne.

Each type of acne birth control pill contains a small amount of the same kind of estrogen. However, each employs a distinct kind of progesterone.

To get rid of acne, the FDA has authorized the next birth control pills:

  • Ortho Tri-Cyclen combines estrogen with a progestin. A synthetic version of progesterone is known as progestin.
  • Estrostepuses contain estrogen and norethindrone, a progestin. The pill is available in a variety of estrogen dosages.
  • YAZ combines estrogen with drospirenone, a synthetic type of progestin. In comparison to pills containing other progestins, the FDA has found that birth control pills containing drospirenone may increase the risk of blood clots. Beyaz, Gianvi, Loryna, Ocella, Safyral, Syeda, Yasmin, and Zarah.

Studies have found no significant differences in terms of how well these three pills get rid of acne.

The estrogen and progesterone levels in today’s birth control pills are lower than before. Their medical hazards have significantly been reduced as a result of this. However, oral contraceptives increase the risk of side effects such as heart attack, stroke, and deadly blood clots in the legs or lungs in women.

It could take anywhere from a few weeks to three months to notice a visible change if you take a combination of birth control pills to get rid of acne. This is because hormones take time to enter your system and rebalance your levels.


Isotretinoin Absorica®

When using Isotretinoin, you can expect to see a noticeable improvement in your acne in 8-12 weeks.

Isotretinoin (eye-soh-tret-in-OH-in) is an acne medicine prescribed by a doctor. Due to this type of acne, deep, painful cysts and nodules the size of a pencil eraser or larger appear.

The treatment of severe acne might be difficult. Isotretinoin may be used after other therapies have failed to clear the skin. Isotretinoin treatment generally leads to acne clearing that lasts a long time and, in some cases, is permanent.

Absorica®, Amnesteem®, Claravis®, Myorisan®, and ZenataneTM are some of the brand names of Isotretinoin.

Isotretinoin is a powerful acne treatment. Isotretinoin (not to be confused with tretinoin) is a retinoid manufactured from a synthetic version of vitamin A. Once or twice a day, it is given orally in pill form.

It’s widely regarded as the most effective prescription treatment for severe acne. Isotretinoin helps treat and get rid of acne that hasn’t responded to conventional treatments.

How does it work

Isotretinoin reduces the size of the oil glands in the skin, known as sebaceous glands. When your skin produces less oil, it is less likely to block pores and cause pimples.

Isotretinoin does not require ongoing use, unlike most acne treatments. Most people only need one treatment course (five to six months). The second course of therapy may require some patients to clear their skin entirely.

After the treatment, pimples rarely reappear. However, if necessary, following your course of Isotretinoin, you might be switched to topical acne medication to keep your skin clear.

Side effects

There are a lot of myths and misconceptions concerning this drug, especially when it comes to side effects. It’s essential to keep in mind that all drugs have the potential to cause side effects. The following are some of the possible isotretinoin side effects to be aware of.

Isotretinoin can produce these side effects if taken while pregnant:

  • Severe birth defects
  • Miscarriage
  • Stillbirth

A patient who could become pregnant must take two pregnancy tests to ensure they are not pregnant before receiving an isotretinoin prescription. Patients must also agree to take a monthly pregnancy test and utilize two different types of birth control while taking this medicine.

When using Isotretinoin to get rid of acne, you’re likely to experience one or more of the following:

  • Dry skin, severely chapped lips
  • Nosebleeds
  • Dry, irritated eyes
  • Dry mouth

Moisturizer, lip balm, and artificial tears can help relieve them. Apply petroleum jelly to the inside of your nose if you’re suffering from nosebleeds. This keeps the tissue wet, preventing nosebleeds.

Is Isotretinoin suitable for me?

For moderate to severe acne, Isotretinoin is recommended. If you have mild acne, your doctor will most likely recommend trying other acne treatments first.

Isotretinoin treatment isn’t for everyone, of course. Isotretinoin may be an option if you’ve tried other acne treatments and haven’t had much luck, if your acne is severe, or if you have back or body acne.


Blue light therapy

blue light  therapy for acne treatment

After undergoing blue light therapy, you can expect to see a noticeable improvement in your acne in 4 weeks.

Blue light therapy is a non-invasive acne treatment in which light is used to eliminate microorganisms on the skin. According to limited research, this approach appears to aid with acne management. Alternative therapies, on the other hand, may be more effective.

Some blue light treatments, a type of phototherapy, have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for mild acne vulgaris that hasn’t responded to prior therapies.

Blue light therapy has been shown to get rid of acne and prevent outbreaks. However, no studies have shown that it is as effective as or better than topical retinoids and other therapies.

Blue light appears to be harmless, with relatively minor side effects. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, it is free of UV radiation, and there is no evidence that it raises the risk of skin cancer or aging (AAD).

Blue light therapy can be done in a dermatologist’s office or home.

According to the AAD, light therapies show potential as a treatment to get rid of acne, with some people seeing significant improvement. However, the organization cautions that results vary by person and that acne is unlikely to be cleared. Furthermore, a person will require multiple sessions, with results not appearing for several weeks after the final treatment.

Blue light therapy may help manage acne, according to scientists, because blue light rays help eradicate the P. acnes bacteria that causes acne. They may also have anti-inflammatory properties in keratinocytes, the most frequent cells in the skin’s outer layer.

People with porphyria, a rare blood condition that causes greater sensitivity to light, should avoid blue light therapy. Individuals with lupus or a porphyrin allergy, for example, should not undergo this treatment.

Blue light therapy for acne can cost anywhere from $40 per session to $1,000–1,500 for a whole package, including numerous weekly appointments.

Most people will require weekly treatments for several weeks, depending on the severity of their symptoms and how well their acne responds to treatment. Two to four weekly treatments are sufficient for some people. Regular monthly treatment can help manage symptoms once they have improved.

Chemical peel

light chemical peel for acne treatment

After undergoing chemical peel procedure, you can expect to see a noticeable improvement in your acne in 10 weeks.

If you’re prone to acne breakouts, you’ve probably considered chemical peeling as a way to clear your skin of blemishes and pimples.

Chemical peeling is a skin resurfacing process that uses exfoliating chemicals like salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and others to remove dead skin cells that can lead to acne breakouts.

Chemical peeling, also known as chemexfoliation, is a treatment in which chemicals remove various layers of your skin’s epidermis or outermost layer.

While the prospect of removing a layer of skin may seem frightening, chemical peeling is backed by scientific evidence.

Skin cell turnover, also known as epidermal turnover, is when your skin constantly renews and replaces itself.

New skin cells formed in the basal layer of your skin migrate to the epidermis, the outermost layer of your skin, as part of the process. These cells take the place of older skin cells that have been damaged by UV radiation and other factors.

This cycle occurs every 40 to 56 days, allowing your skin to mend and maintain its health.

As new skin cells replace old ones, dead cells left behind by this process might accumulate on your skin’s surface.

These dead skin cells may combine with sebum, a natural oil produced by your skin to keep it hydrated, protected, and healthy over time.

Acne can form when a mixture of sebum and dead skin cells becomes lodged inside the hair follicles of your skin. In our guide to the causes of acne in adults, we further detail this process.

Most chemical peeling techniques are designed to remove these dead skin cells, lowering your chances of developing acne.

Light chemical peels are a helpful treatment for mild to severe acne outbreaks in studies. Chemical peels have been used to get rid of acne and other skin conditions.

According to the researchers, chemical peels are well tolerated and helpful in the treatment of mild-to-moderate acne, according to the researchers.

In other trials, light chemical peels were effective in treating papules, pustules, and comedones, which are all common forms of acne.

You can exfoliate your skin at home with an over-the-counter skin peel if you have mild acne. While it won’t give you the same effects as a therapeutic procedure, it can help you get rid of dead skin cells and enhance the texture and appearance of your skin.

Even though your skin will feel softer and smoother after just one treatment, the most significant improvements will come from a series of treatments. The sessions are usually one to two weeks apart to cure acne.


professional acne extraction procedure

After undergoing acne extraction procedure, you can expect to see a noticeable improvement in your acne almost immediately.

If you have a lot of comedonal acne, such as blackheads and whiteheads, having your acne professionally removed is one option for dealing with chronic breakouts.

A dermatologist will use a sterile, specialized instrument called a comedone extractor to manually remove the contents of clogged pores during an acne extraction procedure.

Before extracting the contents of your acne, your dermatologist may use an exfoliator to remove dead skin cells, then use alcohol to prevent bacteria from getting onto your skin during the extraction process. You may need to take medicine to preserve your skin after an extraction surgery to prevent inflammation and infection.

Acne extraction has several advantages, one of which is that you get rid of acne instantly. Unlike acne creams, gels, and cleansers, which can take weeks to work, acne extraction eliminates comedonal acne in a single treatment.

A dermatologist can reduce inflammation and clear blockages without hurting your skin by utilizing sterile equipment and proper technique. This lowers your chances of getting acne scars, a typical problem among people who pop their pimples at home.

Although acne extraction has various advantages, it is not the best treatment for all forms of acne. Acne extraction is often limited for comedonal acne, such as blackheads and whiteheads. Inflammatory or inflamed acne is rarely treated with this method.

If your acne is infected, your dermatologist may suggest an alternative treatment like acne incision and drainage.

Finally, getting rid of acne isn’t necessarily a one-time thing. If you have severe acne, your pores may become clogged again over time, requiring you to repeat the process to achieve long-term results.

Although you may notice an immediate improvement, your skin will need time to heal. Most blemishes will cure in approximately five to seven days following extraction, depending on the depth and severity of your breakouts. Your skincare specialist can provide you with practical recommendations to ensure that your skin heals without scarring.

Cortisone Injections

Cortisone injection procedure for large acne cysts

After undergoing Cortisone injection procedure, you can expect to see a noticeable improvement in your acne within 24 hours.

Cortisone shots are injections of a synthetic hormone similar to cortisol, the stress hormone. It’s utilized to relieve inflammation for a short period and help decrease huge acne cysts, not to get rid of acne in general.

Cortisone shots, which are given at a dermatologist’s clinic, can help reduce the redness, swelling, and agony of severe inflammatory acne breakouts in a matter of days. Intralesional corticosteroid injection is the precise title for this procedure. However, most people refer to it as steroid shots, cortisone injections, or cyst injections.

The technique takes only a few minutes. The injection is only uncomfortable if the pimple is massive and painful. Before starting, your dermatologist may apply topical lidocaine to the affected region to relieve pain.

Cortisone injections are ineffective at treating common pimples or reducing pus buildup in swollen pustules. Instead of shrinking tissues, the shots treat big cystic blemishes. Cortisone shots can be used to treat both facial and body lesions.

In such circumstances, cortisone minimizes the risk of scarring. This is very beneficial if you’re prone to hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin) following a breakout.

Pitting of the skin is the most common side effect. This can happen if you use too much cortisone or a too strong dilution. Atrophy (tissue thinning) of the skin around the injection site might produce a noticeable depression. These depressions usually go away on their own, but tissue loss can be irreversible in some cases.

Cortisone injections can sometimes cause hypopigmentation or a lighter region or white spot on the skin, especially in those with medium to dark complexions. This is also usually only transitory and will go away on its own with time.

Cortisone can quickly alleviate inflammation. You’ll see the blemish softening, diminishing, and flattening over the next 24 hours. Within a week, the pimple will almost always be smaller and better able to repair itself, even if it does not go.

Alternative medicine

alternative therapies for acne treatment

Acne sufferers frequently seek out complementary or alternative remedies. Gels, creams, lotions; dietary supplements and herbs; and particular dietary regimes are examples of these.

Alternative acne remedies are popular among many people. However, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), “all-natural supplements” have not proven effective, and some may be hazardous. According to the group, an over-the-counter (OTC) acne supplement contained more than 200 times the amount of selenium stated on the label. It resulted in a variety of harmful effects. According to the AAD, there is growing evidence that high glycemic index diets (those high in processed carbs and sugar) and dairy (especially skim milk) are linked to acne.

Alternative remedies to get rid of acne have not been thoroughly investigated. As a result, publications like the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database often only offer tepid advice. Oral zinc pills, for example, are only regarded as “probably beneficial.” The same is true for zinc-containing topical treatments. It’s impossible to say which alternative acne remedies work and which don’t until more research is done.

Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil for acne

Tea tree oil is a natural essential oil derived from the leaves of a tiny Australian tree. It’s been advertised as a safe and efficient way to get rid of acne for a long time. Researchers studied 124 acne sufferers in 1990. Some were given a water-based gel containing 5% tea tree oil. Others were given benzoyl peroxide, a common element in over-the-counter acne treatments, at a concentration of 5%.

According to this widely-cited study, tea tree oil did not function as swiftly as benzoyl peroxide. However, after three months, the researchers found that it comparably reduced acne lesions. They also reported a considerably lower incidence of dryness, irritation, itching, and burning.

The use of tea tree oil as a topical therapy is deemed safe for most individuals. However, some people may get an adverse skin reaction to it. This is particularly true if it has oxidized due to air exposure. Tea tree oil should never be consumed by mouth. It can cause a variety of hazardous effects, from rash to coma.

Brewer’s yeast

Brewers yeast

According to “The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods,” brewer’s yeast effectively treats acne because of the chromium it contains. In double-blind research, 80 percent of participants given brewer’s yeast for five months showed considerable improvement in acne symptoms or were entirely healed. Those who received a placebo, on the other hand, only observed a 26% improvement.

According to UMMC, at least one study suggests that brewer’s yeast can help to get rid of acne. At the same time, a paper published in the journal Medical Hypotheses by M. Katzman and A.C. Logan claims that chromium is one of several nutrients that can help with acne symptoms. Zinc, folic acid, omega-3 fatty acids, and selenium are others.

Brewer’s yeast comes in a variety of forms. According to UMMC, it is available in flakes, powder, tablet, and liquid form, with a daily dose of 1 to 2 tablespoons. According to, taking brewer’s yeast after meals can help some people clean up their acne since the chromium in it aids the body’s sugar processing. This Internet health information clearinghouse also suggests removing sugar from the diet to get rid of acne, as acne sufferers’ skin glucose tolerance is commonly poor.

Manuka Honey

Manuka raw honey for acne

Manuka honey is produced in New Zealand, where the manuka shrub is native. The so-called “active” manuka honey is commonly advertised as an acne treatment on the Internet. The claim is based primarily on research that suggests it possesses antibacterial and wound-healing properties.

According to one study, Honey-impregnated wound dressings have garnered increasing appeal in hospitals and clinics around the world. They did, however, point out that it is unknown how they work. As a result, they looked at the ability of three different varieties of honey to reduce free radical production. According to their findings, Manuka honey was shown to be the most effective.

Patient testimonies concerning the effects of manuka honey on acne range from enthusiastic to dismissive on the Internet. However, no definitive research has been conducted to establish or contradict the use of manuka honey.

Green tea

green tea for acne treatment

Green tea has even been advocated as a natural acne cure. But, in terms of preventing and treating acne, how effective is green tea? Should you include it in your acne treatment regimen?

Green tea catechins are highly efficient in decreasing skin inflammation. Is it then possible for green tea to help with inflammatory acne? Maybe.

Decaffeinated green tea extract pills were given to a group of adult women with acne in a research published in the April 2016 issue of Complementary Therapies in Medicine. A placebo supplement was given to the other group.

Inflammatory outbreaks were less common in those who took the green tea extract supplement, notably around the nose, mouth, and chin.

However, the green tea pills did not get rid of acne. There was no significant difference in overall acne breakouts between the two groups (those who took the decaffeinated green tea supplements and those who received the placebo supplements).

As a result, research appears that green tea supplements may have reduced the inflammation of existing acne lesions, particularly around the nose, mouth, and chin.

Green tea’s capacity to kill microorganisms is another intriguing feature. Green tea has antibacterial properties against some of the most prevalent bacteria that cause acne, such as Propionibacterium acnes, Propionibacterium granulosum, and Staph.

Before you go out and buy a green tea mask, keep in mind that everything was done in a lab. This indicates that it was performed in a laboratory rather than on human skin. It remains to be seen whether green tea will work the same in the actual world, on natural skin.

There is still much more research to be done to confirm (or deny) the effectiveness of green tea as an acne treatment. It’s incredibly improbable that simply sipping a warm cup of green tea can cure your acne.

If green tea is ever approved as an acne therapy, it will undoubtedly be a more concentrated extract—something that packs a more potent punch to the skin than the grocery-store kind.

Still, given all of green tea’s health benefits, there’s no reason you shouldn’t include it in your acne treatment regimen. While it may not be enough to clear your skin, it can help you get some relief.

Witch hazel

witch hazel for acne treatment

On the east coast of the United States, witch hazel, or Hamamelis virginiana, grows wild. It’s a natural therapy that can aid in skin restoration and bacteria removal. This extract also tightens the skin and removes debris and oil from the pores. Witch hazel can be used to get rid of acne and reduce inflammation and dry pustules.

In its purest form, witch hazel can effectively reduce acne problems. It’s a natural astringent that aids in the drying of excess sebum (oil) on the skin, which is a common symptom of acne-prone skin.

Witch hazel has been shown in research to be helpful against inflammation. Therefore it can help reduce mild to moderate acne symptoms.

These anti-inflammatory characteristics may help to alleviate inflammatory acne problems. Its astringent properties may help noninflammatory acne by drying out whiteheads and blackheads, a form of lesion commonly associated with this type of acne.

Witch hazel contains tannins, which help constrict pores and reduce the amount of oil on the skin. Hamamelitannin and gallic acid, in particular, target inflammation to soothe the itchy, inflamed skin associated with outbreaks effectively.

Witch hazel, available in its purest form at a local pharmacy, or a toner containing witch hazel can be used to cure acne.

Start with a two-to-three-day application of witch hazel. If your skin is oily, gradually increase the time, you use it daily.

You can use witch hazel in the morning and nighttime skincare routines.

Although witch hazel is generally regarded as safe, some people may experience an adverse reaction. Always patch test a new product before using it in its entirety.

If you get skin irritation, you may be using too much witch hazel. If your skin becomes red or irritated, cut back or stop using it.

Aloe vera

Aloe vera has long been used to treat a variety of skin irritations. You can break off fresh leaves from the plant, the gel squeezed out and applied straight to the skin.

Applying aloe vera to a red, swollen pimple can help relieve pain and sensitivity. Aloe contains wound-healing properties. Therefore it may aid in the healing of open acne lesions.

If acne treatments are causing your skin to become dry and sensitive, aloe vera gel or an aloe-based moisturizer can help. If this relieves your skin’s discomfort, you may be able to continue using your acne treatment without the drying side effects.

Aloe vera’s effects may extend beyond only healing sore skin. According to several studies, aloe vera can help acne medicines work better.

One study, published in the Journal of Dermatological Treatment in April 2014, examined two groups: topical tretinoin and aloe vera gel, and the other used tretinoin and a placebo.

The group that received tretinoin and aloe vera had less redness and pimples than those that received only tretinoin.

Antibacterial properties are also found in aloe vera. Because propionibacteria acne is one of the bacteria that causes acne, it’s thought that aloe may help to reduce these bacteria. However, this has not been demonstrated, and aloe may not affect propioni acnes.

Although preliminary research is promising, we are still long from concluding that aloe vera can effectively get rid of acne. As of now, the study is relatively limited.

Lifestyle remedies

You want to get rid of your acne as soon as possible. In addition to the treatments you use to clear up your skin, you can take steps to help prevent future breakouts. Begin by adopting these lifestyle changes.

Reduce stress

reduce stress to help acne

If you appear to have more breakouts when you’re under a lot of stress, you may be noticing more than a coincidence. Although stress does not cause acne directly, studies suggest that it causes hormonal changes that can exacerbate acne in people prone to breakouts. While you may need to take numerous techniques to clear your skin, reducing your stress level may be crucial for you, both for this reason and to avoid other, often more serious, health concerns.

If you’re regularly stressed, there’s no harm in contemplating that it could be a contributing cause to your acne—especially if you’ve tried everything else and failed.

While it’s impossible to say whether stress is causing your acne, try keeping track of when you’re stressed and when you break out for a few weeks (consider keeping a journal). Then, investigate if there are any relationships between these time points.

Consider the possibility that the worsening of your acne is due to stress-related behaviors rather than the stress itself. Drinking more coffee or taking other stimulants, for example, can cause an increase in cortisol production and have an impact on your microbiome.

You can also exacerbate adult acne by neglecting personal cleanliness, altering your diet, or speeding up your skincare routine, which can occur when you’re stressed.

To develop preventative tactics, try to detect and stay aware of when you are most prone to becoming stressed. This is a very personal matter, and achieving it will take time and increasing awareness. Find the tactics that work best for you and devote yourself to them.

Get quality sleep

good sleep for improved acne

Because it directly affects acne factors, sleep loss raises your chances of developing skin problems. Anxiety, emotional state, cosmetics, hormonal considerations, medication, sadness, and stress are only a few causes.

This is because lack of sleep has been linked to stress in the body, which can cause cortisol levels to rise. A rise in cortisol can cause inflammation and increase sebum production, clogging pores and finally causing breakouts.

Sleep deprivation might compromise your body’s protective mechanisms. Your immune system works to protect your skin from diseases, bacteria, and microorganisms. When follicles are blocked, pimples or build-ups appear. Tiny hair strands, dead skin cells, and sebum clump together and form a clog.

These plugs could become contaminated with bacteria, resulting in swelling and outbreaks. Getting adequate sleep can help you avoid contracting an infection. It strengthens your immune system and improves your skin condition, making it more capable of combating infections.

Sleeping early can help decrease acne-causing causes. For example, sleeping early eliminates weariness, lowers stress levels, improves blood flow, and allows your skin to heal more quickly.

As a result, strive to eliminate any circumstances that may raise your risk of developing acne. Try a glass of water instead of a glass of wine before bed. The same may be said of coffee. Before going to bed, please stay away from it.


exercise for acne

According to science, regular workout sessions are beneficial to the skin, among other things. Exercises minimize stress-induced acne by improving blood flow, and what could be better than that, right? A workout session exposes you to conditions that allow acne-causing bacteria and yeast to grow.

Remove your makeup before going to the gym. You can’t possibly be in such a rush to start a gym session with heavy makeup on. According to dermatologists, when we exercise, the blood flow to our skin increases. The pores open as a result of this. When a layer of makeup is applied to the face, sweat and germs can become trapped in the pores, resulting in acne.

When working out, knot your hair if at all possible. Natural oils and hair care products can be transferred to the skin when hair falls on the face, trapping moisture. This can clog pores, resulting in acne breakouts.

When working out, avoid touching your face with your hands. Any dirt, dust, or germs from the gym equipment can be transmitted to your face, resulting in pore-clogging and skin diseases. Keep in mind that the skin on your face is more delicate than the rest of your body.

After your workout, take a thorough shower to get rid of all the dirt, sweat, germs, and bacteria on your body. If showering isn’t an option, at the very least, wash your face thoroughly. Allowing foreign particles to build on the skin is not a good idea. These might irritate the skin and produce acne breakouts.

Watch your diet

Low-glycemic diet for acne

If you’re like most Americans, you eat and drink a lot of high-glycemic meals. These foods and drinks quickly spike your blood sugar levels. White bread, corn flakes, puffed rice, potato chips, white potatoes or fries, doughnuts or other pastries, sugary drinks like milkshakes, and white rice are examples of high in sugar.

According to small studies, eating a low-glycemic diet can help you have less acne. Most fresh vegetables, some fresh fruits, legumes, and steel-cut oats are low-glycemic foods.

Scientists believe that eating a low-glycemic diet can help with acne because it prevents blood sugar surges. When your blood sugar levels rise, your entire body becomes inflamed. These elevations also cause your body to produce more sebum, an oily material that coats your skin. Both inflammation and abundant sebum can cause acne.

While the data suggest that eating a low-glycemic diet will help you have fewer breakouts, other research has revealed no link between a high-glycemic diet and acne. To be sure, more research is required.

While cow’s milk (but not milkshakes) has a low glycemic index, some studies have connected it to an increase in acne breakouts. All varieties of cow’s milk (whole, low-fat, and skim) have been associated with acne in these studies.

Women who drank two or more glasses of skim milk per day were 44 percent more likely than the other women in the research to have acne.

It’s still unclear why cow’s milk may aggravate or worsen acne. According to one idea, some milk hormones trigger inflammation in the body. Acne is caused by clogged pores caused by inflammation. However, further research is required to be sure.

While cow’s milk has been linked to an increased incidence of acne, no studies have proven that milk-based products, such as yogurt or cheese cause more breakouts.

Eating a good, balanced diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy protein sources, and whole grains appears to be the best diet advice and will go a long way to help you get rid of acne.

Apply sunscreen daily

sunscreen to protect from acne

Sunscreen may seem to block your pores, but it has the opposite effect. You are less likely to become sunburned if you apply sunscreen to your face. Sunburn and tans can make acne worse by drying out the skin and causing an increase in oil production. This increased oil production may result in even more breakouts.

Sunscreen, for the most part, does not cause acne. On the other hand, certain sunscreens can aggravate or cause acne if they contain substances that irritate the skin and clog your pores. This is why non-comedogenic sunscreen is so important. Because non-comedogenic sunscreen does not clog your pores, it should not cause outbreaks.

Chemical sunscreen and physical sunscreen are the two types of sunscreen available. Chemical sunscreen enters the skin, absorbs UV photons, and transforms them to heat, then released by the body. On the other hand, physical sunscreen lays on top of the skin and reflects the sun’s rays. Chemical sunscreen is said to be worse for your skin since it can irritate the skin, leading to breakouts.

Anti-inflammatory characteristics are found in sunscreen ingredients, including zinc oxide and niacinamide, which can help reduce inflammation and get rid of acne. Hyperpigmentation, caused by sun damage, can make acne scars appear much worse than they are. If you’re prone to scarring, it’s even more critical to use sunscreen every day.

You can also use vitamin C with your sunscreen if you have or are prone to acne scars. Vitamin C can aid with hyperpigmentation, fine lines, and wrinkles, and sunscreen helps speed up the healing process for scars.

Anecdotal acne remedies

Unless you’ve been gifted with a flawless complexion, you’ve tried a few out-of-the-box remedies to get rid of pesky pimples throughout the years.

When you’re dealing with acne, it’s common to reach a point where you’re willing to go to any length to achieve clear skin. You might even consider more radical therapies, such as those using urine or precious metals.

Here are some of the strangest and most extreme things people undertake to achieve acne-free skin.


does toothpaste for acne treatment work

You suddenly woke up with a zit on your face that wasn’t there the night before. Of course, you want to get rid of it as soon as possible, but don’t reach for the toothpaste tube. You’ll think twice about dabbing toothpaste on a pimple once you learn what it does for breakouts and your skin.

Toothpaste is frequently thought of as a low-cost blemish remedy. However, this is one acne home cure you should avoid.

Although some people believe toothpaste immediately heals their pimples, the truth is that most people discover toothpaste irritates and reddens their skin. This is not something you want to do to a blemish that is already red and inflamed.

Using toothpaste as a spot treatment came from the fact that many toothpaste types have chemicals that assist fight bad breath. And, if they eliminate bad breath germs, they should also kill acne-causing bacteria. Regrettably, this is not the case.

Toothpaste was never supposed to be applied to the skin, and the compounds in it aren’t designed to fight acne-causing germs.

The most compelling reason to avoid using toothpaste on your pimple is that, in addition to being unlikely to work, toothpaste will most certainly burn and irritate your skin, particularly your face.

After applying toothpaste to a zit, many unhappy folks have experienced a chemical burn or a nasty rash called contact dermatitis. Your skin may be uncomfortable for days after that. In the end, toothpaste can make your pimple worse rather than better.

Toothpaste isn’t good therapy to get rid of acne. There are a plethora of other alternatives that work better. So save your toothpaste for your teeth, and your skin will thank you.

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does urine work for acne treatment

Is it true that pee can help you get rid of acne?

Some women recommend putting a baby’s urine-soaked diaper across acne-prone skin. Others claim that you can use your urine, but only the first pee of the day. There’s also whether you should dab particular pimples or go all out and apply it to your entire face.

Despite popular belief, there is no scientific evidence that you can use pee to get rid of acne.

There was no formal research on the effects of urine on acne that we could identify. We’d hazard to think that this is partly because few people would volunteer for it.

So, where did this idea originate?

Historically, urine has been used to treat various health issues in several cultures. Even today, some alternative healers believe that urine has healing characteristics and employ urine therapy to cure a range of ailments.

Urine is a waste product of the human body. Putting pee on your face is disgusting.

Your pee is not sterile, despite popular perception. Even a healthy person’s pee contains minimal quantities of germs. 

That isn’t to say it isn’t harmful. Anyone who has ever changed a diaper has most likely been drenched in someone else’s pee a few times with no harmful effects. There have even been tales of persons surviving near-fatal situations by drinking their urine.

Let us give thanks to our lucky stars. Other acne treatments that work without the icky factor are available.

Remember that any drug should be given plenty of time to function (about 3-4 months). Also, if you have any questions or require assistance, contact your healthcare practitioner.

Isn’t it great that you don’t have to resort to peeing on your face to get rid of acne?

Coal tar

does coal tar work for acne treatment

Dermatologists have been using coal tar for over a century. According to Livestrong, it can help with dandruff and psoriasis. Still, some individuals claim it can also help to get rid of acne by eliminating dead skin cells and inhibiting the creation of new skin cells, which can trap germs beneath the skin.

While the Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Association recommends using moderate coal tar solutions on the face, WebMD advises against using coal tar topical liquid anywhere else than on the hair and scalp.


do not use Windex on acne

Windex (yep, the blue substance in the spray bottle) is an acne cure that some people swear by, in a move straight out of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.”

Believers think that the cleaning liquid dries off their spots in some way. On the other hand, Windex is very alkaline and contains volatile compounds that might irritate the skin. Windex’s Material Safety Data Sheet explicitly warns customers against getting the substance on their skin.

Banana peel

banana peel for acne does it work

Bananas are rich in Vitamins A, B, and C, all of which can aid the body combat inflammation. Banana peels, according to proponents, have anti-inflammatory properties that perform wonders on the skin as well. Stylecraze even claims that you may make a pimple-curing paste by mixing an egg yolk with a mashed banana peel.

According to anecdotal data, it turns out, that it works for certain people to get rid of acne.

Fortunately, rubbing a few banana peels on your skin is neither risky nor expensive, so this is one unconventional skin treatment worth trying.

Gold leaf facials

gold leaf facials for acne

This is a beauty treatment that a Roman emperor would approve of. Try a gold leaf facial if you want to experience the pinnacle of luxury skincare.

Applying ultra-thin gold sheets to your skin is that the metal fights free radicals strengthen elastin, and encourages cell growth. According to How Stuff Works, it is also known to have some practical effects in lowering inflammation and treating breakouts.

Be prepared to spend between $400 and $1,000 if you want to see a face full of gold for yourself. While you won’t have beautiful skin when you leave, you’ll undoubtedly feel like a million bucks.

Pepto-Bismol and mouthwash

pepto bismol and listerine for acne

This acne treatment falls under the “use everything you have in your medicine cabinet” category.

According to Medical Daily, some people believe that using a Pepto-Bismol mask followed by a Listerine toner will help them avoid outbreaks. While Listerine has antiseptic effects, it’s also loaded with chemicals and strong alcohols that can dry and irritate the skin.

While Pepto-Bismol does include beta hydroxyl acid and salicylic acid, both of which are known to help prevent pimples, you’re probably better off buying skin-care products that contain those components and are meant for use on the skin.

Coconut oil

coconut oil for acne treatment

There appears to be no limit to the uses of coconut oil, from cooking with it to utilizing it in your dental practice. As a result, it’s not surprising that it’d be effective as a skincare treatment. According to One Green Planet, Coconut oil is an effective acne treatment. For a variety of reasons, coconut oil is an excellent beauty treatment.

Though using oil to get rid of acne may seem frightening, coconut oil is one of the most effective skin remedies available. It naturally fights bacteria since it is antibacterial and antiviral. If you’re unsure which type to get, extra virgin, cold-pressed coconut oil is the most acceptable option.

The antibacterial properties of coconut oil make it a gentle and practical approach to treating and balancing acne-prone skin, unlike forceful foamy cleansers that can irritate the sensitive skin on your face, stimulating the development of excess sebum to protect and replace the oil you’ve stripped away.

Citrus juice

lemon juice for acne does it work risks

Because of their antioxidant properties, citrus fruit extracts are frequently used in skincare products. Antioxidants, such as the vitamin C found in citrus fruits, help the skin fight free radicals while also boosting collagen levels.

If you’re trying to get rid of acne, you might be wondering if plain lemon juice is more helpful than an OTC combination medication.

Fresh lemon juice is one of the many home treatments recommended online forums. This is due to their high antioxidant content and naturally occurring citric acid, a form of vitamin C.

Applying lemon or lemon juice on your face, on the other hand, can have negative consequences that worsen your skin’s condition.

If you’ve ever eaten a lemon, you know how powerful this citrus fruit is. Its effects on the skin can be strong, resulting in possible side effects. These are some of them:

  • dryness
  • burning
  • stinging
  • itching
  • redness
  • killing good bacteria

Because citrus fruit can induce hyperpigmentation, this acne treatment method may not be the ideal choice for darker skin tones. Regardless of your skin tone, lemon juice might raise your risk of sunburn and sunspots.

While lemon juice may contain anti-inflammatory and antibacterial characteristics that help with acne, there isn’t enough information concerning the skin’s potential risks.

Furthermore, unlike many other home treatments for acne and acne scars, there isn’t a lot of scientific proof to back up lemons as a legitimate treatment choice.


ice for acne

Ice is one home remedy that gets a lot of attention because of how simple it is to apply and versatile. Ice is said to have a variety of beauty advantages, including removing bags under the eyes and shrinking pores, but can it get rid of acne?

Inflammatory pimples, such as pustules and cysts, may benefit from ice to reduce redness, swelling, and pain.

On the other hand, ice may have little or no effect on non-inflammatory pimples like comedones (also known as blackheads and whiteheads).

A cold compress can help reduce inflammation and make pimples less visible and irritating, but it won’t remove the contents of the pimple.

There are no substantial hazards associated with icing a pimple. However, people should not leave ice on their skin for too long.

Frostbite, also known as cold injury, is caused by prolonged exposure to freezing temperatures.

Blood arteries constrict and limit blood flow to conserve heat in cold or freezing situations. This decrease in blood flow might cause skin tissue damage over time.

Ice cubes and frozen gel packs should always be wrapped in a clean cloth or plastic bag before being used to ice a pimple.

Abstaining from sex

can abstaining from sex help with acne

Apart from being the most undesirable piece of beauty advice, some people believe that abstaining from sex and masturbation will help clear up troubled skin. According to Facing Acne, the surge of hormones triggered by sex can increase oil production in the skin, resulting in acne.

While it’s true that acne is linked to hormones like testosterone and that sexual stimulation can raise hormone levels in the body, there is no evidence that skipping sex will improve your acne.

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