Acne can't be cured, but it can be treated successfully. Treatments for both mild and severe acne work in one or more of the following ways:
- By reducing oil production
- By reducing bacteria that causes infection
- By improving the way dead skin cells exfoliate, they can't clog pores.
For mild acne, doctors often recommend using an over-the-counter remedy first, before resorting to more serious treatments that require a prescription. (Keep in mind it takes about a month to see results from over-the-counter products.) Here are some of the most widely used over-the-counter medications for mild acne:
- Benzoyl Peroxide -- This is a drying ingredient that helps reduce oiliness and kills the bacteria that causes pimples, but it doesn't affect oil production. It comes in creams, gels and lotions. (Benzoyl Peroxide is available over-the-counter in milder forms and by prescription in stronger formulations.)
- Salicylic acid -- Sold in creams, lotions or pads, it fights blackheads and whiteheads by helping to unclog pores.
- Sulfur lotions -- Available in creams and lotions, sulfur reduces bacteria to help control whiteheads andinflamedpimples.