Physical Acne Treatments

Physical Acne Treatments

Most people find that ointments are the best acne treatments, but severe cases of acne may require physical acne treatments. These can include chemical peels and drainage and are usually supplemented by oral antibiotics and ointments.

Physical acne treatments should never be attempted at home. They need to be done by a dermatologist under sterile conditions. Physical acne treatments which are done in properly can lead to permanent scarring.

Best Acne Treatments

Many people think that popping pimples is the best acne treatment, but this should never be done. Contrary to popular belief, popping pimples actually make sure acne worse by causing bacteria to spread. In addition, this form of physical acne treatment can cause scars.

Skin Peels

In severe cases of acne, sometimes the best acne treatments are ex-foliation – removing the top layer of skin. This is usually done with a chemical skin peel such as salicylic acid or glycolic acid. This acne treatment sounds terrible but salicylic acid treatments are mild enough to do on a daily basis.

Glycolic acid treatments are more intense and can only be performed once or twice a month for a period of about six months.

These exfoliation treatments destroy the microscopic top layer of skin which removes the buildup of dead skin cells and also allows the pores to drain. This can also be accomplished by using an abrasive cloth.

Blackhead Removal

Blackheads and whiteheads can be extracted with sterile instruments. The dermatologist will apply an anesthetic cream in the area of the blackheads before extracting them with a surgical tool. Blackheads are actually a combination of dead skin cells and sebum and is this dermatological tool is the only safe way to remove them. Avoid the temptation to squeeze blackheads – this can spread acne-causing bacteria and lead to permanent scarring.


Severe cases of acne are sometimes associated with cysts which form under the skin. The best acne treatment for large cysts is drainage and surgical removal. Smaller cysts are sometimes injected with cortisone which clears them up within a day or two.

These cysts can be painful as well as disfiguring. The only way to safely drain them is with sterile surgical instruments. The dermatologist will apply antibacterial lotion and may also prescribed oral antibiotics after the procedure.

Laser Acne Treatment

A relatively new type of acne treatment is laser acne treatment. There are several ways lasers can be used for treating acne. One approach is to burn the follicle sac which produces hair. This reduces the accumulation of bacteria which causes acne.

Another laser acne treatment burns the gland which produces sebum. Reducing  sebum production makes the skin dry air and less susceptible to acne-causing bacteria.

Yet another approach with laser acne treatment is the formation of oxygen which kills bacteria.

All of these laser acne treatments are relatively new. They are very effective acne treatments but it is not yet known whether they can cause permanent damage to the skin.

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