Firstly let me say that I've tried most of the Over-The-Counter treatments you get from the pharmacy, and they range from the fairly ineffective to the completely useless. They're also expensive. Non-prescription treatments cannot get at the root of the problem which lies beneath the skin: overproduction of oil and bacteria.
You need to go to your doctor. If he or she is not sympathetic, find someone who is and get to a Dermatology Specialist (SOS Acne has various arguments to use to your doctor).
The treatments your doctor usually prescribes are:
1. Benzoyl peroxide containing creams *
2. Topical Antibiotics (a cream or lotion to spread on the skin) *
3. Oral antibiotics (pills you take). Minocycline (Minocin) is the best **
4. Oral antibiotics + Retin-A (so the best antibiotic treatment is Minocycline + Retin-A)***
5. Dianette/Diane 35- the female contraceptive pill***
6. Isotretinoin (Accutane/Roaccutane)*****
In my long experience of various treatments the only one I can wholly recommend is Accutane/Roaccutane because it actually affects the root cause of the problem: the overproduction of oil by the glands in your skin. You have to spend 6 months on it, and it has some unpleasant but tolerable side effects. Between 50% and 80% of patients are cured by the first course of this drug.
Dr Danby also believes that it is the most effective treatment.
In SOS Acne I write comprehensively on this treatment and go into all the side effects, how to minimise them, and how to ensure you get the best result, including what you do after the course to reduce any scarring and relapses.
SOS acne: save your skin
A commonsense guide to acne treatments
This is my 65 page booklet about acne, and what to do about it. Only valuable information validated by myself, fellow sufferers, or the medical profession, is included. It is regularly updated with peoples' tips and new information. It costs GBPounds 7.50.
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This site is copyright David Collins 2004. Although every precaution has been taken in the preparation of this site, the author admits no liability for errors or omissions. All trademarks are acknowledged. This site is for your information only and is no substitute for proper medical treatment of your condition.