Acne treatments have come a long way over the years. Once limited to precious few options that were sometimes ineffective, acne sufferers now have numerous treatment choices. Some treatments can be obtained from the family doctor, some require a dermatologist’s expertise, and some can be purchased at your local discount store or herb shop. Here are six of the most popular acne treatments available:

1. Retin-A

Those who primarily suffer from persistent blackheads and whiteheads can often benefit from Retin-A. Retin-A is derived from Vitamin A and promotes the shedding of material that clogs pores and causes blackheads and whiteheads.

Retin-A often causes irritation and flaky skin, and it usually takes several weeks before patients can see a difference. Those using the drug are advised to use a moisturizer regularly and avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight.

2. Antibiotics

Some doctors and dermatologists begin acne treatment with antibiotics. These are either taken orally or applied topically. The antibiotics work by decreasing the number of acne-causing bacteria in the skin and reducing the amount of fatty acids in the sebum.

The downside to antibiotics is that they can also kill the good bacteria that our bodies need to stay healthy. They are also associated with the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. These problems are somewhat less prevalent with topical antibiotics than with oral ones.

3. Photodynamic Therapy

One of the newer techniques in acne treatment is photodynamic therapy, also known as blue light therapy. Previously used to treat cancer and other diseases and ailments, it has also been found to be an effective alternative to systemic antibiotics in the treatment of moderate to severe acne.

Photodynamic therapy is conducted as a series of three to five treatments, with two to four weeks between treatments. It is not usually covered by insurance.

4. Tea Tree Oil

One of the most effective home remedies for acne is tea tree oil. It is used by diluting and dabbing it directly onto acne lesions. Tea tree oil is known for its antibacterial properties, and that is thought to be the reason why it is so effective against acne.

5. Garlic

Garlic is another natural antibiotic, and it can be used in a variety of ways against acne. You can cleanse the skin with a solution of one part garlic juice to three parts garlic, rub raw garlic on lesions, or take it internally. The key is to use fresh garlic, because it loses its effectiveness a short time after it is skinned.

6. Vitamins

Vitamins are good for overall health, and they can be a powerful weapon in the fight against acne. B Vitamins are especially beneficial, because they fight acne in several different ways. Vitamins A, C, E, and the minerals chromium and zinc are also great.

There are vitamins available in health food stores specifically for acne sufferers, but the best way to get these vitamins is to include them in our diets.

There are more options for acne sufferers than ever before. Whether you prefer traditional treatments, non-drug therapy or natural remedies, acne can be treated effectively.