Topical treatments include gels and creams that are applied to the skin. They can be an excellent way to treat acne and may be all you need.
The most effective topical treatments are available only on prescription , although for mild acne over the counter benzoyl peroxide-containing creams or nicotinamide may help. If using benzoyl peroxide then chose the lowest percentage strength you can find – 2.5% is as effective as anything higher, but higher percentage creams are more likely to cause skin irritation. Always remember that creams are designed to prevent spots and do not work so well on active spots – so apply them regularly, thinly and all over areas where you are acne-prone. Applying thickly is a mistake, unnecessary and more likely to cause irritation.
Prescribed topical treatments can be very useful. Some of the most effective contain a topical retinoid (which is not the same as retinol). These are vitamin A-like medicines which are the most effective way to unblock blackheads and whiteheads and Use an effective topical treatment can also reduce inflammation. They are available on prescription either alone or in combination with benzoyl peroxide or topical antibiotics. Other effective topical treatments include azelaic acid, which is especially useful in people whose acne is leaving dark marks, and antibiotics such as erythromycin.