Pennsylvania Centre for Dermatology


There are a variety of procedural treatments and prescription oral medications, topical prescription medications, and topical over-the-counter treatments available to control acne flares.  The most successful approach at managing acne is a combination of these treatment options. Below are some examples of commonly prescribed oral and topical prescriptions for the management of acne.

Oral Prescription Medications

  • Doxycycline
  • Minocycline
  • Bactrim
  • Other oral antibiotics
  • Spironolactone
  • Isotretinoin (Accutane)

Topical Prescription Medications

  • Clindamycin
  • Clindamycin/Benzoyl Peroxide (Duac, Onexton, Acanya)
  • Aczone Gel
  • Finacea
  • Tretinoin (Retin-A, Altreno, Atralin, Tretin-X)
  • Tretinoin/Clindamycin (Veltin and Ziana)
  • Differin
  • Epiduo Forte
  • Tazorac
  • Fabior
  • Sulfacetamide Sulfur Wash


Procedural Medical Treatment Options

In addition to topical and oral treatment options, there are a number of medical procedures available to help control active acne flares.

Cortisone Injections:

Cortisone injections are a terrific option for those who want an acne lesion to disappear quickly. Cortisone injections contain a low concentration of an anti-inflammatory medication called Triamcinolone, which is a steroid medication, (a type of cortisone.) It is injected right into the acne lesion while it is flaring. Over the next 24-48 hours, the anti inflammatory effects of Triamcinolone take effect and the acne lesion will flatten out. This makes cortisone injections a great option if you have a breakout before a “big event”. Most inflammatory acne lesions can be treated with a cortisone injection. Most patients have no side effects with cortisone injections, but rarely atrophy of the skin (a depressed area or “divet” in the skin) can occur.


Isolaz is cleared by the FDA and is indicated for the treatment of mild to moderate acne. It is also safe to do in pregnant patients. Isolaz combines the power of vacuum with the proven benefits of broadband light to deliver an effective acne treatment. It helps targets the root causes of acne for reliable results. In a published clinical study, 100% of patients noted Isolaz treatments were painless. Patients may feel a small amount of pressure from the vacuum or a warm sensation during treatment, but should not feel discomfort or pain.  There may be mild redness that typically lasts less than an hour after the treatment. Four to six treatments are generally needed to get initial results. However, the exact number of treatments varies from patient to patient.

There are 3 general steps of the Isolaz treatment:

  • CLEANSE: Vacuum applies gentle pressure on your pores helping to loosen and extract dirt, blackheads and excess oil from deep within your pores.
  • PURIFY: Broadband light helps destroy acne causing bacteria, as well as reduce facial redness caused by acne.
  • REPLENISH: With Profusion technology, topical skin care products are applied to the cleansed skin to improve overall results.

Blue Light/Red Light Therapy

Blue light acne treatment is a FDA-approved light treatment used to treat active acne and prevent future acne flares. The blue light kills p.acnes on the skin. The red light helps heal acne scars left over from previous active acne lesions.

Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)

Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) is a treatment Kills bacteria that causes acne (p.acnes). PDT modifies the oil glands that harbor the p.acnes which results in long-lasting remissions of breakouts