Acne- Commonly Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about acne and acne medications:


I have been given an acne regimen by my doctor. What should I know?

  • It may take 8-12 weeks to start to notice an improvement. Don’t give up.
  • Acne may get slightly worse before getting better. Do not panic. Compliance with topical medicine is important. No medication works without you actually USING it. 
  • As mentioned above, acne medications are best at preventing breakouts. We recommend continuing treatment even after your skin is clear.
  • Many of the creams, gels, and some of the pills we use for acne treatment will make you photosensitive (more prone to sunburn). If you are taking a pill that makes you photosensitive, this means your whole body may sunburn (not just your face). Please remember to wear sunscreen daily, reapply frequently, and wear a hat.

Can I wear makeup?

  • Yes, of course! Remember to wash it off every night and before exercise or heavy sweating.
  • Look for makeup that is “oil-free” and “non-comedogenic”. Avoid MAC products, as these are known to be comedogenic (acne forming). Brands to consider: Clinque, Laura Mercier, Tarte, Bare Minerals, Neutrogena, Jane Iredale.


Remember that some medications cannot be used if you are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant. Please discuss with your provider.

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