by Joshua Goldman, MD, MBA
Acne sucks. Period. We can’t think of a single beneficial aspect of the stupid thing. It ruins prom pictures, makes inherently self-conscious teens more self-conscious, and causes your co-workers stare you chin as if Charlie Sheen we’re doing a drug-induced rain dance on it. As such, it’s time we make it go away.
Now about that. American capitalism loves acne. You can’t get through an episode of The Bachelorette without a Clearasil commercial proffering a one-cream cure. If you walk the Health & Beauty section at Target, you’ll find an entire aisle dedicated to acne treatment. They’ve designed fancy motorized scrubby brushes, magic creams, and multi-step tonics to treat it. I’ll let you in on a little secret: you don’t need any of that stuff. A $80 bottle of crème de Provence is no better at treating acne than a generic bottle of 10% benzoyl peroxide. In fact, the French “crème” is probably making your acne worse. Don’t believe us? A little walk through the underlying cause of acne may turn you into a believer. Read the rest of this entry →