What's the Best Acne Treatment?

My Proactiv acne routine isn't working well enough for acne.  My acne is pretty bad and painful.  Are there acne treatments that are best to get rid of it for good? I heard laser acne treatments may be best.

Doctor Answers 20

Blue light therapy is a treatment that uses light to...

Blue light therapy is a treatment that uses light to kill the acne causing bacteria. Perfect for those allergic to topical and oral antibiotics.

Acne needs to be treated two ways:

- Unclog the pores

- Kill the bacteria that causes the inflammation.

Ideally it should be treated with both modalities. Blue light is just half the answer. Cooltouch is a laser light source that shrinks the oil gland and results in decreased bacteria counts as well.

Patients do best when also using a retinoid ( Retin-A, Differin, Tazorac) because these products act to prevent the clogs in the pores, as well as are anti-inflammatory.

The most complete product to treat acne is still Accutane. If properly prescribed, it decreases bacteria because of its action on the sebaceous glad, unclogs the pores and is anti-inflammatory as well.

New Orleans Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Utilize atopical antibiotic in the morning and alternate...

  1. Utilize atopical antibiotic in the morning and alternate a retinoid with a benzoyl peroxide derived at night.
  2. Blue light/red light combination LEDs are helpful to diminish acne causing bacteria and diminishing inflammation.

Neil Sadick, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

So many acne treatments, so little time

As you can see from the many different answers, there is no best treatment for acne. There is no one treatment that works best for every patient. A partnership between an experienced dermatologist and an experienced cosmetic surgeon is often necessary to arrest the acne process and treat the scarring associated with previous outbreaks.

The first step in the process is to stop acne outbreaks. This is best treated by consultation with a dermatologist. The next step is to erase the painful marks left behind. While no acne treatment can recreate unblemished skin, treatments can improve the texture of the skin.

It can take several treatments over years to get optimal results. In patients with darker skin, the options are more limited and more troublesome. Consultation with an experienced cosmetic surgeon is key to obtaining optimal results.

D.J. Verret, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

A new App analyses you skin and built for you a suggested Acne management routine

Of course, live Dermatologist advice is the best .

But, if you want some immediate answers and advice there is a new app exactly for you. The new MDacne IOS app offers an immediate image analysis of your skin, looking at the number, type, and severity of your pimples.

Based on Dermatologists’ based algorithms it built a personal plan, Video guides you for optimal daily management routine and provides you with daily reminders and tips to keep you committed to the treatment.

Download the new "MDacne" App Apple's iTunes App Store. 

Yoram Harth, MD
Israel Dermatologist

Acne treatment options

There are many options for acne treatment. I classify them into 3 groups. Topicals, oral antibiotics and oral Accutane. Proactiv is only Benzoyl Peroxide, which will only help partially. Clindamcin and tretinoin are very good options to add to the regimen. Oal antibiotics are very powerful and these include Dxycyclin, and Minocyclin. Accutane is a great option for people with chronic acne. 

Ben Behnam, MD
Santa Monica Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Acne Treatments Differ from Patient to Patient

There is no one wonder treatment for acne; a board-certified dermatologist is the best professional out there to determine which approach is the best. We have great new topical medicines, oral medicines and several newer lasers and light sources that work really well for acne. As well, there are several devices that can be used at home, purchased at a derm's office — so consult with your doctor and see what is best.

Michael Gold, MD
Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Best acne treatment

This is an excellent question. Fortunately there are many treatments for acne these days. I’d recommend starting with some non aggressive treatments and work your way up if need be. You may want to start with some topical prescriptions such as Differin, Steiva A etc. These can do wonders on acne if used correctly. You should get some mild peels done with this as well. I’d recommend Salicylic, Glycolic, Resorcinol etc. The peels will help your skin turn over and aid in minimizing bacteria. You can then move up to laser treatments, light treatments, microneedling etc. If all else fails then an oral medication, such as Accutane, will be the last resort. Acne can be managed very well and if treated quickly will not leave any scarring.

Treatments for Acne

There are several different treatment options for clearing up acne.  One should schedule an appointment with a Dermatologist if interested in a medically based treatment, which could consist of a topical medication such as a Tretinoin along with a systemic medication such as Doxycycline.

There are also cosmetic based acne treatments that your physician may recommend.  Cosmetic based treatments are not typically covered by insurance, but can be extremely effective for patients suffering from acne.

One cosmetic based treatment that your Dermatologist may recommend is a Chemical peel, which includes the application of acid to the skin once every 4 weeks.  These acids chemically exfoliate the top layers of skin, signaling the cells inside the skin to produce more rapidly.  The ultimate result of Chemical peels include a rapid skin turnover that prevents pores from becoming clogged.

An additional cosmetic based treatment is the Laser Acne treatment.  Treating acne with Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) often delivers better aesthetic results (especially on inflammatory acne) without the side effects associated with topical and oral acne medications.  IPL treatments target and destroy the bacteria responsible for acne, helping to prevent future breakouts from occurring on the face, chest and back.  The number of recommended treatments can vary anywhere from 4 to 8 treatments.

It is best that you consult with your Dermatologist to determine the best treatment option for your acne.

Syed Amiry, DO
Virginia Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Cool Touch for Acne

I personally am a fan of Cool Touch for acne.  The laser light targets and shrinks the oil glands.  It also stimulates and regenerates collagen.  This combination allows the acne to resolve and the scars to become smoother.

Jeffrey W. Hall, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Best Acne Treatment

There is no 'best' acne treatment for every patient.  If you are experiencing painful breakouts, it is important to visit your dermatologist for treatment, before permanent scars develop on your skin.  Laser treatments are an excellent option for treatment painful acne breakouts.  The best laser acne treatment may be different for every patient, but I find that the most effective therapies are Photodynamic Therapy, Isolaz Acne Therapy, and Red/Blue Light Therapy.  These treatments each work in a unique manner to kill the acne-causing p. acnes bacteria and treat and prevent active acne.  These therapies are often used in combination with each other, in addition to prescription medications for acne.

Eric Schweiger, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.