Asked by Christina, Toronto, Ontario
I would like to know how can I get rid of my acne. I have tried many creams but am allergic to Proactiv and benzoyl peroxide. At the moment, I am using tea tree oil, but it still has not been helping very well. Kindly help me please.
Living Well Expert
Dr. Jennifer Shu
Children's Medical Group
Thank you for your question. I know how frustrating it can be to have trouble with your skin. Since I don't know the specific details about your condition, I encourage you to visit your primary care doctor or dermatologist for the best care. In the meantime, I consulted with Dr. Jeffrey Benabio, a dermatologist in San Diego, California, and author of The Dermatology Blog, who shared the following general information about acne:
Acne is common: Nearly everyone has it at some point. It can be difficult to treat. These two facts make acne treatment a billion-dollar industry. Many treatments for acne cause redness, itching and irritation, which make it difficult to continue using them. Unfortunately, the most important factor in treating acne is not which treatment you use, but how faithfully you are using it.
Mild acne can be treated with over-the-counter remedies such as salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Prescription treatments such as oral or topical tretinoin, topical clindamycin, and sometimes oral antibiotics such as doxycycline or minocycline are needed when acne is moderate. Severe acne sometimes does not respond to any treatment except tretinoin (Accutane).
Other acne treatments, such as apricot scrubs or tea tree oil, can help in some mild cases, but they do not work for most people with moderate or severe acne.
All topical acne treatments take 10 to 12 weeks to be effective; that means you have to use them for up to three months before you see good results. Most people do not continue using their treatment long enough to give it time to work.
I hope this information is helpful and wish you the best of luck in finding a treatment that will eventually meet your needs.
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