Most cases of mild to moderate acne can be treated with prescription creams and washes.

Most cases of mild to moderate acne can be treated with prescription creams and washes. Creams can help reduce the number of acne causing bacteria on your skin.

Vitamin A creams can also decrease blackheads, oil production, and help your skin repair acne scars.

Dermatologists at the Acne Specialist Clinic can tailor a skin care program based upon your acne type and skin sensitivities.

Facts on creams for the treatment of acne:

  • Antibiotic creams can reduce the number of bacteria on the skin
  • Antibiotic creams should always be combined with a Vitamin A cream to combat any acne bacteria resistance
  • Vitamin A creams form the foundation of treating blackheads and early acne lesions
  • Application of creams should be tailored according to your skin sensitivity and lifestyle
  • Breakout creams can reduce pimples within days of application
  • Acne Prevention creams take 6-8 weeks before results are seen


Several types of acne fighting creams are available including -


These creams kill acne-causing bacteria on your skin.  Creams are safe and most can be used in pregnancy. Ideally antibiotic acne creams are used to help reduce breakouts.

Vitamin A creams

These form the foundation of acne treatment and address the cause of acne. Vitamin A creams are acne prevention creams. There are many types of vitamin A creams. The ideal cream will depend on facts such as your skin sensitivity and type of acne. Specialists recommend you apply Vitamin A creams to acne prone areas, and not just spots. Apply every second night and increase your application if you don't experience any skin irritation.

Most acne creams will require a prescription from a doctor as application frequency and the type of acne cream chosen will differ for each patient.

Prescription creams used to treat acne include the following

  • Eryacne
  • Differin
  • Epiduo
  • Zorac
  • Duac
  • Clindatech
  • Clindabenz
  • Retreive, Isotrex and Stivel A

Non-prescription over the counter creams include

  • Finacea
  • Benzac
  • Clearisil
  • Proactive

Acne cream treatments will depend on the type of cream prescribed. Your Specialist Dermatologist will instruct you in regards to treatment and your application regime.

Break out creams

Can be applied to acne spots for that emergency breakout or new pimple. Examples of creams used to treat acne breakouts include Erycacne, Duac, Benzac AC cream and Clindatech lotion.

Prevention creams

Should be applied to acne prone areas such as the forehead, cheeks, nose, and chin. These prescription creams usually contain a derivative of Vitamin A. Acne prevention creams, as the name suggest, should be use at least 3-6 nights per week. Acne prevention creams help decrease oil production and blackheads, and can prevent acne from forming. Examples of acne prevention creams include Differin, Epiduo, Retreive, Isotrex, Stivel A, and Zorac.

Our signature 8 week program for mild acne- combines LED phototherapy with a customised skin peel regime to achieve clearer more radiant skin, great for blackheads and unclogging pores.

Acne creams are often the first stage in treating mild non-scarring acne. If your acne is severe, scarring, or has not improved with creams, Specialist may prescribe tablets, including antibiotics, anti-hormone treatments or in very severe cases, Oratane or Roaccutane.

Female patients who have a pre-period flare up of acne may benefit from hormonal control using the oral contraception pill.

Omnilux light phototherapy can also be combined with creams, however phototherapy only provides temporary improvement of acne.

Yes! Gentle chemical peels with AHA Glycolic acid can be safely combined with all types of creams, including vitamin A and antibiotic creams. Chemical peels are ideal for patients who suffer from congested skin, blackheads, open pores, and mild– early acne scars.

Chemical peels can compliment the effectiveness of Vitamin A creams, and help decongest blocked pores and reduce excessive oil production.

Very mild and early cases of acne scarring can be improved with prescription Vitamin A creams. Results are seen after 3-4 months of use. A more effective method of treating early acne scars is with Fractional RadioFrequency treatment. Dermatologists combine acne treatments with scar revision treatments to for the Acne Free RF Program.

Much cheaper than you might think! Most creams for acne is on the PBS and subsidised by the Government. Prescription creams range in price from $16 to $40. Medically prescribed creams, such as Vitamin A are far cheaper and more effective than over the counter non-prescription creams.

Acne free treatments are affordable, and in most cases, solutions are very simple!

A simple skin care regime is important for acne prone patients. Matching the right product for your skin type can make a huge impact on control of your acne.

  • Cleaning your skin twice a day forms the foundation of your acne skin care regime. Dermatologists recommend a non-abrasive cleanser that does not contain alcohol. Try Cetaphil cleanser or Neutrogena Extra Gentle Face wash
  • Avoid toners as they may irritate inflamed acne prone skin.
  • Moisturisers protect the surface of your skin and help prevent water loss and excessive oil production. Moisturisers also ‘rehydrate’ your skin and can reduce the irritation from acne creams.

The Acne Specialist Clinic recommend products such as La Roche Posay or Cetaphil as a daily moisturiser.

The active ingredient in Proactive is Benzoyl Peroxide. This chemical can help reduce the bacterial counts on your skin, and may improve mild cases of acne. Proactive is most effective on pustular or zit like acne lesions. Benzoyl Peroxide is also an active ingredient in Benzac Cream and Benzac AC wash, as well as PBS listed medications such as Epiduo.

Proactive does not work very well in cases of hormonal acne, jawline acne, adult onset acne, and severe cystic acne.