Q. Are topical and oral medicines a must for acne treatment?

Answered by
Dr. Asmeet Kaur Sawhney
and medically reviewed by Dr. Sneha Kannan
This is a premium question & answer published on Feb 05, 2016 and last reviewed on: Apr 12, 2019

Hi doctor,

I have been suffering from acne since one month, mainly it is cystic acne. I have always had this issue on and off, but this time it is painful and new acne keeps coming. The scar too takes long time to go. I have been using the over-the-counter Benzoyl peroxide face wash, Benzoyl peroxide 10%, and Tretinoin 0.025%, for the past 3 weeks. Doctor suggested me to take Aldactone oral medicine. Can the acne get treated with topical medicine or oral medicine or both? Also, please let me know the medicines.

Dr. Asmeet Kaur Sawhney

Cosmetology Dermatology Venereology


Welcome to icliniq.com.

I have gone through your history and seen the attached photographs (attachments removed to protect patient identity).

According to me, you need both oral as well as topical medication to treat acne.

Continue with the face wash but Benzoyl peroxide 10 percent is too strong for the face. Instead use Benzoyl peroxide 2.5 percent gel on the pimples in the morning and Adapalene gel on the pimples at night.

Along with this take a course of Azithromycin 500 mg daily on 3 consecutive days in a week for at least 4-6 weeks.

This is the mildest oral drug used in acne treatment and hope it works in your case. I do not know whether these drugs will be available over-the-counter in your country.

Besides this keep your face dry, avoid applying cream or moisturizer, avoid oiling of the scalp and reduce the intake of sugary foods. You can continue this treatment for six weeks and then revert back to me. Wish you speedy recovery.

The Probable causes:

1. Seborrhea.
2. Hormonal imbalance.

Probable diagnosis:

Acne vulgaris.

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