Best treatments for acne and blackheads?

Anyone know some good stuff for clearing up acne?


It’s the nukular bomb of acne medicine.

(By prescription only)

May cause birth defects, flaky skin, chapped lips, and spontaneous nosebleeds, but hey…

My doc put me on Differin (ointment) and Benzamycin (cream). Both are prescription meds in the states, but they went right to work, and my face is doing much better now.
I have a friend who swears by dissolving aspirin in water and using it to wipe down her face every other day. She also dips cotton swabs in the solution, lets them dry and carries them in a plastic bag so she can dampen it and tap it on any new spots she notices coming up. It seems to work for her. Me? I tried her way and ended up at the doc because it didn’t seem to help me.

Neutrogena products. Recommended by my dermatologist, available at any drugstore.

Oil-free Acne Wash for mornings and evenings, their on-the-spot treatment for zits. I use their Moisture lotion with spf 15.

Easy, inexpensive and it works wonderfully.

Well, it depends on what sort of acne you’re talking about.

If it’s just your regular, run of the mill pimples, a good cleaning system such as Biotherm’s Biopur can do wonders. (I’ve had clients go from quite pimply, to clearfaced in 4 weeks.)

However, if you’re talking about hard-core, cystic acne, you should see your physician or dermatologist.

bear is right. ACCUTANE. it is the best. have a kid and it will look like e.t. it will cause you to stop sweating, i really liked this. you do get really dry, try vitamin E pills… i hear that would have worked. if not, most likely your lips will chap, the corners of your mouth will crack, and you will all around get super super dry. BUT the acne will go away, and once you’re off the medication, your sweat glands will come back, well, something like 50% of them.

i had normal acne, but that was the only thing that worked.

“retin-a micro”
sucks, did not work… felt really gross and i was supposed to put it on 2x a day… looks like MAKEUP. this yellow cream stuff, its horrible and it did nothing, for me that is.

this horrible calamine lotion crap i was supposed to put on along with the retin-a micro crap… also did nothing. gross feeling.

“differin gel”
uhhh… i dont think this did anything at all, i dont know what the point was, it just made me feel greasy.

Nobody has yet answered regarding blackheads. Does Accutane help blackheads also? If not, what can be done about them? No source that I’ve read gives a clear answer.

Aren’t blackheads just dirt and oil clogging your pores? Wash your face well and frequently to keep this to a minimum (not implying that you aren’t but that’d be my solution). There’s also something called Swiss Apricot Scrub available at most supermarkets and drugstores, it’s a mildly gritty facial cleanser that works great. Dunno that it’d be appropriate to use if you also are dealing with acne.

If this is the normal teenager skin condition that we all went through then hang tight, it’s temporary and you’ll be fine in a couple years.

If you want old wives’ tales and anecdotes, this thread (or any of the multitude of previous GQ threads on acne treatment) will fit the bill, but if you are interested in the straight dope on acne, its causes and its treatment, you might try the American Academy of Dermatololgy’s web site at Some posters might want to look at the site to see what DOESN’T work.

Well, it really depends on what kind of acne you have. You really need to see a dermatologist. The derm will help you figure out what would work best for you. This is what I do:

Mary Kay acne mask…dries out some of the oil.
Nuetrogena face soap…keeps everything clean.
Tazarac…peels away the top layer of the skin without drying it out too much. (warning…this will cause a lot of skin flaking)

I would guess that what she’s thinking or seeing is the fact that aspirin is acetylsalicylic acid, that is, salicylic acid with an acetate group replacing the normal OH group. Anyway, that’s done to help with the unpleasantness of taking straight salicylic acid.

So, basically she’s making a weak acid solution and washing her face with it. Personally, I wouldn’t want to try it more than once, especially without having some idea of concentration and activity.

I purchase those alcohol swabs that medics use before inserting needles. Use them to clean trouble spots like the nose and behind the ears. Figure they help because they always show what soap and water miss.

My sis-in-law, in her mid 30s has been battling acne all her life.

(of course this is more IMHO but oh well)

She swears by:

I have to admit that her skin looks a lot better.

She’s tried a multitude of prescription, specialty, high dollar (department store stuff) and this is the only stuff that has worked for her.

Keep in mind that not all treatments will work for all people. Just like other health concerns, not one product will work for all people. So try those things you can afford and see if they work.

But don’t expect an overnight miracle. Many things need some time to really make a difference.

Flensing by flesh eating beetles seems to work every time…

Otherwise, not so good for the general complexion

Lies! Lies I tell you…
This is what I was always told, but it isn’t true for me… I’m almost 27 and my acne is only marginally better than it was when I was a teenager… and several of my friends still get it regularly…

All acne medications except for accutane are bullshit. All of them. I suffered from moderate to severe acne for years and I tried almost every medication except for accutane. Then one day I decided to stop using them all and you know what, my face cleared up right away. All the stupid chemicals I was putting on my face just made the acne worse. Either that, or they would provide a temporary cure and the acne would flare up worse later on. Now I never wash my face, literally, and I have the clearest skin of my life. This may sound stupid but it is seriously true. So my advice is either go on accutane and risk the side effects, or stop putting harmful chemicals on your face. I do not lie to you, all over the couter medications are complete bullshit.

Mine isn’t super bad like some I’ve seen, but definitely annoying and a problem. Washing with a rag and 2% salicylic acid every morning and night has really helped me. I also went in and popped everything that would pop, and started to get a lot of sleep. For me, lack of sleep is a major promoter of acne.

2% salicylic acid solutions are available in every supermarket in the section for skin care. I can actually see the dirt on the rag, even after the solution dries out.

TS - and your case study is generalizable to the entire human population how exactly?

You could be allergic to many of the things you were using, just for starters.

Well, if all else fails, move to a place with minimal pollution. When I’m in Monatana, my face is 10x better than when I’m here in nasty Sacramento air.

Beyond that, I have no suggestions.

Has anyone tried one of those sucking things for the blackheads and such?

asterion beat me to it, but the main ingredient in most OTC anti-acne meds is salicylic acid @ 2.0%. Aspirin is Acetylsalicylic acid.