Your initial acne treatment should be an over the counter treatment that’s available in nearly all pharmacies and even grocery stores. That acne treatment is often a benzoyl peroxide cream. After a couple months, if you’re not satisfied with the results, then your next step should be seeking care from a primary care physician or a dermatologist. They may prescribe a topical cream, one that is applied to your skin. One topical cream, retinoid, is meant to be applied very sparingly. You only need a pea size amount, just five dots on your cheeks, forehead, and chin, and nose. It can take up to a month to begin working. Your doctor may also prescribe topical antibiotics and definitely sunscreen. Many patients will need an antibiotic such as doxycycline or minocycline, both of which must be taken on a full stomach. These products can make you sun sensitive, although you should apply sunscreen that is at least SPF 30, you’re best off avoiding the sun entirely during the treatment process. Many women have found that taking an oral contraceptive can help reduce acne. Your dermatologist can recommend the ones that are most effective. Isotretinoin, once known mainly by the brand name Accutane, is often used as a last resort for patients who have failed conventional treatments. Although isotretinoin can be safe and effective, if taken as directed, it does have potentially serious side effects. Alternative acne treatments include laser treatments and light-based therapies, which are performed by board certified dermatologists.