Acne is always a blight for those who suffer from it, and evidence for acne treatment go back as far as there is evidence of the condition.
Evidence suggests that the Romans were already trying to discover effective treatments for the condition. They believed that adding sulphur to mineral baths would unclog pores. This treatment would have reduced the bacteria causing the acne and had a drying effect on the skin.
In the 1920s, Benzoyl Peroxide was introduced as a treatment for mild to moderate acne, and is still being used today with limited side effects.
The 1950s brought the realisation that acne is caused in part by the presence of bacteria. Antibiotic treatments were trialled as a result of this understanding, and again, are still being used today.
Retin A was launched ten years later and proved effective, although the oral intake vitamin A derivative, commonly known as Roaccutane, caused more controversy when it became available in the 80s.
With the potential to cause liver damage, Roaccutane has also been linked to depression although this hasn’t been scientifically proven. It can be very effective in some people, although regular blood samples are needed during the treatment, and female patients are forbidden from falling pregnant.
With laser and microdermabrasion treatments came a new approach to acne treatments. Microdermabrasion can help remove scarring and unclog pores, while the laser can destroy the bacteria that cause the acne in the first place.