Mild acne appears as superficial lesions on the surface of the skin, such as blackheads, or whiteheads. (These are also referred to as “comedones”)
Mild acne can sometimes be controlled at home by gently washing the affected area (usually the face) with warm water and a mild soap twice daily to remove dead skin cells and excess oil. An over-the-counter acne medicine containing benzoyl peroxide, or salicylic acid may also be used.
At-home treatment of mild acne requires 6-8 weeks to see improvement. Once the mild acne clears, treatment must be continued to prevent new lesions from forming.
Stronger and more effective prescription acne medications may be required if the mild acne does not respond to at-home treatment. These may include medications applied to the skin, such as topical antibiotics or topical retinoids. These may be used alone or in combination with other medications, such as antibiotics for acne.
Oral acne medications, such as oral antibiotics (doxycycline, minocyline) or isotretinoin, are not usually recommended for the initial treatment of mild acne.
Talk to your doctor about an acne treatment best suited to your acne severity and skin type.
Whatever acne medication you use, it is important that you give it enough time to work. This may require waiting 6 to 8 weeks to see results. While the older acne lesions are healing, the medicine is hard at work keeping new acne lesions from forming. Staying on your acne medication is the most important step to getting your acne under control.
©2010 Vivacare. Last updated March 18, 2013.
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