There are a multitude of acne treatments available, but most can be separated into three main groups: drugs applied to the skin, drugs taken internally, and washing and sleeping methods. It is impossible to say which treatments are most effective, because what some respond well to some don’t at all. Some treatments stand out as exceptionally effective, namely benzoyl peroxide, isotretinoin, and tea tree oil (for the natural treatment lovers).
1. Benzoyl Peroxide: An over the counter cream applied to the skin, this can be an effective treatment for acne provided it is done on a regular basis. The basic routine is to wash your face, and then apply a dose of benzoyl peroxide. This will help peel the skin, cleanse it, and unclog pores, which will help reduce and hopefully cure acne. It has few side effects, other than skin sensitivity which will usually go away with repeated use.
2. Isotretinoin: Once known by the brand name version Accutane, isotretinoin is a vitamin A derivative that is taken for a short course of treatment. In many people, this will be enough to permanently cure them of acne. The drawbacks are the potential for severe and even permanent side effects in some people, an so a doctor’s close supervision is required.
3. Tea Tree Oil: For those who prefer natural remedies for acne, there is the oil from a bush in Australia. Although toxic if taken internally, this medication has similar effectiveness as benzoyl peroxide if applied to the skin. Similarly, it needs to be done on a consistent daily basis. There aren’t many known side effects, but it is slower acting and so patience is required. This is a good way to avoid the undesirable side effects of the above two treatments.
Probably the best way to find a good treatment is to start with the less invasive home acne remedies, and work your way up to the stronger ones. Give each treatment several weeks or longer to work, to see how they do and if they are a definite success or not. While isotretinoin is certainly effective in some people, it should be the drug of last resort.