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Most people will have acne at some point in their lives, especially during their teenage years. For a majority of patients, a few pimples here and there may emerge occasionally, but will not cause a major issue and can be easily treated with over-the-counter spot treatments or a simple change in your skincare habits. For others, however, acne can be more severe and require professional treatment from a dermatologist such as Dr. Adam S. Greenberg.

If you make an appointment with Dr. Greenberg for your acne, here are a few treatment options that you can expect.


First, Dr. Greenberg will evaluate your skin and determine the cause and type of your acne. This will help to make an educated decision on the best treatment option for you. Many factors, ranging from hormones or wearing tight clothing to an improper skincare routine, may be causing your acne. Further, Dr. Greenberg will determine whether your acne falls into the following categories:

  • Whiteheads
  • Blackheads
  • Papules
  • Pimples/pustules
  • Nodules
  • Cysts

Topical Acne Medication

A range of topical medications, including benzoyl peroxide, retinoids, azelaic acid, salicylic acid, or antibiotics, may be prescribed for your acne. These can be placed directly on the skin to treat existing breakouts and prevent future ones. Products like retinoids or gentle acids work to unclog the pores and exfoliate the skin. Antibiotics work to kill acne-causing bacteria.

Oral Acne Medication

Especially for those with acne nodules or cystic acne, which tend to be more painful and more likely to result in scarring, Dr. Greenberg may prescribe an oral medication. For females, birth control may be an option to regulate hormones and reduce breakouts. Antibiotics may also be prescribed to reduce your acne-causing bacteria. Isotretinoin, also known as Accutane, may also be prescribed for those with more severe acne. Isotretinoin can have severe side effects for some patients but is highly effective in treating acne for others.


Typically administered by injection, corticosteroids help to reduce inflammation. For painful or severe acne, Dr. Greenberg may recommend a corticosteroid to help your skin heal.

Effective At-Home Acne Care

Regardless of which treatment plan Dr. Greenberg recommends, he will also recommend an effective at-home routine to help you prevent breakouts. Patients with acne should develop good habits to cleanse their skin of excess oil or bacteria, gently exfoliate to reduce dead skin cells that clog pores, and moisturize to prevent overproduction of oil. Dr. Greenberg can recommend products that should be effective for you to use at home.

Common Questions

Q: Do I need to treat my acne?

A: Yes, acne can have both physical and mental consequences if left untreated. The skin can have discolorations, and even worse, scarring. Active acne and the scars/discolorations it causes has been shown to have a very devastating effect on self-esteem in both adolescents and adults.

Q: What is triggering my acne?

A: Many factors play a role in the development of acne. Internally we know that hormones, inflammation, bacteria that live on our skin and our pores all contribute to the formation of acne lesions. Externally, picking at spots, skin products with ingredients known to cause acne, certain activities and sometimes foods can all make acne worse. A thorough discussion of triggers is necessary to get acne under control.

To get started with an effective acne treatment plan, schedule an appointment with University of Miami-educated dermatologist Dr. Adam S. Greenberg. Call our office at (941) 282-3376 or request your appointment online.