The Complete Guide to Treating Acne: From Mild to Severe


Acne is one of the most common skin conditions affecting everyone. It can cause significant physical and emotional discomfort and may even leave long-lasting scars if not treated properly. 

Fortunately, there are various acne treatments available that can help in managing this skin condition. This article explores different types of acne treatments, their effectiveness, and how they work to provide relief and promote healthier skin.

Topical Acne Treatments

1. Over-The-Counter (OTC) Creams and Gels

These OTC medications are readily available in most drugstores and supermarkets. They usually contain active ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or glycolic acid, which effectively treat mild to moderate acne. These ingredients work by killing bacteria, unclogging pores, and reducing inflammation.

2. Prescription Topical Medications

For more severe cases of acne, a dermatologist may prescribe topical medications with stronger active ingredients. Some examples of topical prescription treatments include retinoids, azelaic acid, antibiotics, and dapsone. 

These medications target specific causes of acne (e.g., bacteria, inflammation, excess oil production) and are usually applied once or twice daily as directed by a healthcare provider.

Oral Acne Treatments

1. Antibiotics

Oral antibiotics such as tetracycline, doxycycline, and minocycline are often prescribed for moderate to severe acne that does not respond well to topical treatments. They work by reducing bacteria and inflammation in the skin. However, long-term use of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance, so they’re typically prescribed for a limited period.

2. Hormonal Treatments

For women with acne caused by hormonal fluctuations, hormonal treatments such as birth control pills and anti-androgen medications (e.g., spironolactone) may be prescribed. These acne treatments regulate hormone levels, which can help reduce oil production and inflammation.

3. Isotretinoin

Isotretinoin (commonly known by its original brand name, Accutane) is a potent oral medication used to treat severe, resistant acne. It works by reducing the size of the oil glands in the skin, which leads to significantly less oil production. 

This treatment is usually prescribed for 4-6 months, and patients must be closely monitored by their healthcare provider due to the risk of severe side effects.

In-Office Procedures for Acne Treatment

1. Chemical Peels

Chemical peels involve the application of a chemical solution to the skin, causing it to exfoliate and eventually peel off. This reveals a new layer of skin that is smoother and less inflamed, making it an effective acne treatment for mild to moderate acne. Chemical peels can also aid in diminishing the visibility of acne scars.

2. Microneedling

Microneedling is a minimally invasive procedure that uses tiny needles to create micro-injuries in the skin. This stimulates the skin’s natural healing process, increasing collagen production and improving skin texture. 

Microneedling is a successful method for diminishing the visibility of acne scars and enhancing the skin’s overall health.

3. Light and Laser Therapies

These acne treatments use different forms of light and laser energy to target the bacteria and inflammation associated with acne. They can also help reduce oil production and improve the appearance of acne scars. 

Some examples of light and laser therapies include blue light therapy, pulsed dye laser therapy, and infrared light therapy.

4. Extraction and Drainage

Extraction and drainage is a procedure performed by a dermatologist or a trained professional to remove trapped oil, pus, and debris from deep within the pores. This acne treatment can help reduce the appearance of large, inflamed cysts and nodules. 

It is essential to have this procedure done by a professional to minimise the risk of scarring or infection.

Finding the Right Acne Treatment for You

Acne is a prevalent skin issue that impacts individuals of all ages, genders, and ethnicities. It can cause significant physical and emotional discomfort, and if left untreated, it may lead to long-lasting scars. 

With numerous acne treatments available, choosing the right solution for your skin concerns may feel overwhelming. It is essential to consult a dermatologist or a skincare professional to assess your skin type, acne severity, and other factors before recommending the most suitable treatment plan for you.

Discover top-notch and efficient acne scar treatment in Kuala Lumpur at Cleo Clinic. As a high-end aesthetics establishment, we provide an extensive selection of treatments to enhance your skin’s appearance! Schedule a consultation with us today.