Got Severe Acne? Acne Remedies to Discuss With Your Dermatologist

Lisa Cohen Lee

severe acne remedies to discuss with your dermatologist

Yes, you've got acne—so what are you doing about it? If you've tried everything in the drugstore and had mediocre results, then it’s probably time for something stronger. The best full-strength, serious acne remedies are prescribed by a dermatologist. And, lucky you, there are plenty of options, from popping oral meds to laser treatments. Before you book your appointment, though, make sure you give your OTC remedies the old college try—it takes 6-8 weeks to really see results—and read up on what you can expect from an RX:  

Retinoid Creams:

Ask your doc about a retinol cream, such as Retin-A, Tazorac, Zianna or Differin, which unclog pores and clear away the dead skin cells that might be plugging them up and causing acne. Bonus: It stimulates collagen, which smoothes out lines and wrinkles.


Taking an oral antibiotic for a two-week period, like Tetracycline or Doxycycline, gets to the bacteria in the hair follicle (another cause of acne) and stops it from swelling.

Birth Control Pills:

If your doc suspects that hormones are causing your pimples, a prescription to the pill, with a mix of estrogen and progestrin, can level them out and keep your skin looking clear.


If you've got cystic acne, you may want to consider this Vitamin-A  derived drug. The treatment works by putting the brakes on the production of sebum, the oil that causes acne. But this is a no-go if you’re even thinking of getting pregnant, since the drug can cause serious side effects in a pregnancy.

In-Office Treatments:

If you’re wary of taking meds, try topical, in-office acne remedies. A chemical peel can clear up acne and swelling, while blue light therapy works on killing the bacteria that causes acne. Another option that produces long-term results: laser sessions.  Doing them over the course of a month, will zap away bacteria and keeps pores clean and clear for at least 6 months.  

Have you had success getting rid of your severe acne? Tell us about it in the comment section!

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