The best way to treat your acne will depend on what type of acne you have and how severe your condition is. Below we have written some common treatments for different types if acne.


Most patients that develop acne skin conditions will suffer with mild acne, which can usually be treated sufficiently with over-the-counter treatments. These medications can typically be purchased in any pharmacy and do not require a prescription from your doctor. Over-the-counter medications can are usually topical and may include one or more of the following ingredients outlined below. Topical treatments consist of creams, soaps, gels, pads or lotions. If your skin is sensitive, it is advised you use a cream or a lotion.

sulfur to help spots

  • Sulfur – Sulfur is good for treating skin conditions such as acne, eczema or psoriasis. Sulfur is proven to be effective in the breakdown of blackheads and whiteheads.
  • Azelaic Acid – Azelaic acid is a natural acid that is found in wheat, rye and barley. It is a natural anti-inflammatory substance and can reduce bacteria growth, as well as strengthening cells inside the hair follicles and stopping oil eruptions. Azeliac acid is especially effective for patients with a darker skin type who suffer with melisma or marks from their acne lesions.
  • Salicylic Acid – Salicylic acid reduces shedding of the cells that line the follicles of the oil glands, and is very helpful at assisting the breakdown of blackheads and whiteheads. Salicylic acid is also a natural anti-inflammatory and helps to treat swelling. Salicylic acid is often found in anti-dandruff shampoos as It causes the epidermis to shed skin more easily.
  • Retin-A – Retin-A contains an acid from Vitamin A called Tretinoin, and is sometimes referred to as All Trans Retinoic Acid (ATRA). It is often used as a chemical peel.
  • Resorcinol – Resorcinol is often used to treat acne, psoriasis, dandruff and eczema. It is effective in reducing breakouts of whiteheads and blackheads.


When you are suffering with moderate to severe acne, you should seek advice from a well-qualified doctor or skin specialist. You are likely to be advised to use topical treatments to begin with, and If these do not have enough of an effect, then you may be prescribed oral or topical antibiotics.


Oral antibiotics will usually not be prescribed for longer than a six-month period. The dosage will usually be high initially, but your acne can become resistant to antibiotics, in which case another antibiotic may be prescribed.


the pill to help spots

Some women find that oral contraceptives help to clear up acne breakouts. Sometimes though, a change in hormones can make acne worse, so it is important to discuss the type of medications you are using or considering with a medical professional.


Isotretinoin is a strong oral retinoid. It is used to treat severe cystic acne and is usually prescribed when other medications and treatments have failed.