Topical Treatments

What is it?

Topical treatments are the application of medication on the surface of  skin. Most of the time it is available in washes, solutions, lotions, gels and creams forms. You can get most of the topical treatments over-the-counter, however; some needs doctor's prescription. Each products might have  one or several active ingredients.

When we are comparing severity of acne based on treatment options, mild to moderate acne usually responds to over-the-counter treatments, whereas, severe acne require prescription medication.

Prior to prescribing any acne medication, patient has to be assessed to exclude any acne aggravating factor. As a dermatologist, it is important to work out a realistic treatment plan with the patient and notify them regarding the potential adverse effects and the time it takes to see results after treatment.

Common topical treatments for acne

The followings are commonly used topical acne treatments:



How treatment works?

The active ingredients for acne may have one or more of the following properties:

  • It normalises skin cell maturation
  • Peel of the surface scale
  • Unplugged blocked follicles
  • It guards cells from harm by free radicals
  • It reduce inflammation caused by acne bacteria
  • It can also act as antibiotic and antiseptics to reduce the bacteria

Main Goals

The main goals of acne treatment:

  • Prevent or stop the expansion of acne blemishes using appropriate treatment options.
  • Prevent the formation of new scar and to treat acne scar.


  • Since  precautions and how to apply vary between preparations, always read the leaflet in the packet. 
  • Topical treatments should be applied to all the affected area.

For how long is acne treatment is required?

Whatever procedure is used, it is usually takes up to 4 weeks for there to be any sort of obvious progress in the skin. Sometimes it may take up to six weeks or even years in case of severe acne. The most typical factor for acne treatment failing is stop the treatment immediately after the pimple vanishes or in the process of restoration. You have to understand that improvement can be very slow.

It is recommended to wait for at least six weeks before deciding whether  the treatment is working or not. If it is not improved within six weeks, it is time to look for another more powerful treatment. Acne treatments could normally remove most spots, however; there is no therapy that will certainly make your skin clear.

› Topical Treatment


Topical, Acne, Treatment, medication, pimple, OTC, Prescription, Blemishes 

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