Acne treatment available online today

Speak to one of our trusted, board-certified doctors about acne treatment in as little as 15 minutes and find relief today. Get a new prescription for acne or refill an existing prescription for just $15/month.

Book an appointment
Book an appointment

Speak to one of our trusted, board-certified doctors about acne treatment in as little as 15 minutes and find relief today. Get a new prescription for acne or refill an existing prescription for just $15/month.

Medication services available 24/7 for adults and kids (3+)

Top quality, board-certified doctors

Insurance accepted, but not required

Prescriptions sent to your local pharmacy*

* Prescriptions provided at doctor’s discretion.

We accept these insurance plans and many more!

Most patients with in-network insurance pay $30 or less. Otherwise, new patient visits are $129 and follow-ups are only $69 for members.

Don’t see your provider listed? Email [email protected]  or call  (888) 564-4454  to talk to a PlushCare specialist.

3 simple steps to request acne treatment today

Step 1

Book an acne treatment appointment.

Book a same day appointment from anywhere.

Step 2

Talk to your medical provider regarding your acne symptoms.

Visit with a doctor on your smartphone or computer.

Step 3

If prescribed, pick up a prescription for acne treatment.

We can send prescriptions to any local pharmacy.

Acne treatment pricing details

How pricing works

To request acne treatment and get a new or refill on your prescription, join our monthly membership and get discounted visits

Paying with insurance

Membership

$14.99/month

First month free

First visit

Copay

For all visits

30 days of free membership

  • Same-day appointments 7 days a week

  • Unlimited messages with your 24/7 Care Team

  • Prescription discount card to save up to 80%

  • Exclusive discounts on lab tests

  • Free memberships for your family

  • Cancel anytime

Visit price with insurance

Often the same as an office visit. Most patients with in-network insurance pay $30 or less!

  • We accept these insurance plans and many more:

    • Humana
    • Aetna
    • United Healthcare

Paying without insurance

Membership

$14.99/month

First month free

First visit

$129

Repeats only $69

30 days of free membership

  • Same-day appointments 7 days a week

  • Unlimited messages with your 24/7 Care Team

  • Prescription discount card to save up to 80%

  • Exclusive discounts on lab tests

  • Free memberships for your family

  • Cancel anytime

Visit price without insurance

Initial visits are $129 and follow-ups are only $69 for active members.

Book an appointment

If we're unable to treat you, we'll provide a full refund.

Learn about acne

Acne is a skin condition that develops when skin pores become clogged. The skin's sebaceous (oil) glands release oils (sebum) onto the skin surface through the hair follicles, to keep the skin moist. The hair, oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria can block the pores. The acne-causing bacteria in the clogged pores can grow on the mix of oil and dead skin cells, triggering the body's immune system and causing inflammatory acne.

There are many types of acne, such as blackheads, whiteheads, papules, cysts, etc. Acne is one of the most common skin conditions, and mainly develops in teenagers and young adults undergoing hormonal changes. But acne can also show up in adults.

Acne causes

There are many potential causes of acne. Below, they are discussed in greater detail.

  • Hormones

    Hormones can provide a good explanation as to why acne commonly affects teenagers (hormonal acne). Particularly during puberty, the androgen hormones cause the sebaceous glands to enlarge and produce more oil. This oil can clog pores, leading to the build-up of dirt and acne-causing bacteria that cause pimples and hormonal acne outbreaks.

    In addition to the rising hormone levels during puberty, other changes to the body can also cause hormonal acne, including:

    • woman’s menstrual cycle

    • during pregnancy


  • Medications

    Certain medications can cause or worsen acne. Some known examples are:

    • Corticosteroids - acne due to corticosteroids is also called steroid acne. Steroid acne can happen to bodybuilders who use high-dose anabolic steroids, and also in patients who were prescribed corticosteroids.

    • Lithium - this medication has been prescribed for the treatment of depression and bipolar disorder. However, a common side effect of lithium is inflammatory acne.

    • Barbiturates - this group of sedatives is used for the treatment of seizure disorder, insomnia, and anxiety. A side effect of barbiturates is acne breakouts.


    If you are concerned about acne outbreaks, ask your doctor about possible alternative treatments.

  • Diet

    Diet is not a well-understood factor. It is not easy to directly attribute acne to a single food source as people eat different food at each meal every day. However, according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, findings from some studies indicate that cow's milk and food high in carbohydrates (high glycemic food) may worsen acne.

    A few small studies have found that switching to a low glycemic diet from a high glycemic one can reduce acne outbreaks. Fresh vegetables, fruits, and beans are examples of low glycemic foods. Potato, bread, rice, and sugary drinks are examples of high glycemic foods. When you consume high amounts of high glycemic food, your blood sugar spikes, causing inflammation throughout your body. As your blood sugar spikes, it also triggers your body to increase oil production in your skin. A combination of inflammation and increased oil production can lead to acne. However, note that no studies have established a connection between a high-glycemic diet and acne.

    While it is not known why, some studies have shown cow's milk (whole, low-fat, and skim) consumption to be related to acne.

    Contrary to popular belief, greasy foods have little to no effect on acne. However, handling greasy foods in environments like a kitchen increases your chances of getting some oil stuck to your skin which can cause irritation and acne.

  • Family history

    Genetics are known to influence acne, and if your parents had acne, it is likely that you will too.

  • Pressure on skin

    The use of phones, helmets, collars, backpacks, or sports equipment can all worsen acne.

    Acne mechanica is a type of acne that occurs due to friction and pressure on the skin, and typically affects athletes. When an athlete's sports equipment or clothing constantly rubs against heated and sweaty skin, the skin becomes irritated. For athletes with existing acne or acne-prone skin, the skin irritation can trigger acne breakouts. Below are a few examples:

    • Cycling - helmet

    • Golf - golf bag strap

    • Football - helmet, chin strap, shoulder pads, or other protective gear

Acne symptoms

  • Acne can appear as the following on your skin:

    • Pimples without abscesses

    • Pus-filled cysts



    While these can appear anywhere on the body. they tend to appear in the following areas with a high concentration of oil glands:

    • Face

    • Neck

    • Shoulder

    • Chest

    • Upper back



    When you have acne, you can develop any (or a combination) of these breakouts on your skin:

    • Whiteheads - pimples with a small white pus-filled top

    • Blackheads - pimples with black top

    • Nodules - large pimples that are deep and painful

    • Cysts - pus-filled pimples that are deep and painful



    Acne can also cause the following long-lasting effects:

    • Acne scars - some times after an acne outbreak clears, it can leave acne scars on the skin.

    • Dark spots - after an acne outbreak clears, dark spots can remain in places where the acne once was.

How to treat acne

Go to a board-certified doctor or dermatologist to get a professional diagnosis and acne treatments. Depending on your age and severity of the acne, the doctor can prescribe topical and oral medications as treatment options.

Acne medication

  • Oral antibiotics

    These prescription tetracycline antibiotics can be taken orally to treat moderate acne to severe acne:

  • Topical treatments

    • Benzoyl peroxide - Common brand names of topical benzoyl peroxide include Clearasil, Stridex, and PanOxyl. This topical medication targets surface bacteria. A common side effect people have reported is irritation and dry skin in the application areas.

    • Salicylic acid face wash - Salicylic acid removes dead skin cells and prevents clog hair follicles. This topical medication is available over-the-counter.

    • Tretinoin (Retin-A) - Topical retinoid (vitamin A derivatives) works by breaking up blackheads and whiteheads, and preventing the formation of new pimples. A common side effect of this topical retinoid is irritation and dry skin in the application areas.

    • Antibiotics - Topical antibiotics work by controlling bacteria growth on the skin surface. Examples include clindamycin and erythromycin. Topical antibiotics together with topical benzoyl peroxide are effective acne treatments.


  • Birth control pills

    For women, birth control pills can be an effective form of prescription acne treatment. Particularly, a few FDA-approved birth control pills (for acne patients) have been shown to be effective in controlling breakouts associated with menstrual cycles. A few examples are Estrostep, Beyaz, Yaz, and Ortho Tri-Cyclen.

How to Prevent Acne

As acne is related to hormonal changes, prevention can be very difficult. However, avoiding certain substances may help. Examples of medicines to potentially avoid include: such as corticosteroids, lithium, and barbiturates. Example food items to potentially avoid include: high glycemic food and milk.

In addition, performing certain daily routine hygiene can help:

  • Wash your face daily with facial cleanser

  • Do not touch your face unnecessarily

When to see a doctor for acne

See a doctor as soon as you notice the pimples so that you can get diagnosed and begin effective acne treatments. Early treatment can prevent mild acne from developing into severe acne that causes scars.

Related conditions to acne

Here are a few skin conditions that are commonly mistaken for acne, and may require a diagnosis from a board-certified dermatologist.

  • Eczema (atopic dermatitis)

    Eczema is a skin condition that has symptoms such dry skin, severe itching, red or gray-brown scaly patches/rashes on the: hands, feet, ankles, wrists, neck, chest. Though acne causes pimples, sometimes it is difficult to tell eczema rash and pimples apart. Do note that eczema and acne are completely different skin conditions.

  • Folliculitis

    Folliculitis is a skin condition that can look like acne, often starting out as small red bumps on your face, arms, back and legs. Folliculitis is caused by inflammation/infection of hair follicles while acne is caused by blocked pores.

  • Rosacea

    Rosacea is a skin condition that presents itself as small, red, pus-filled bumps on the face, and can be accompanied by visible blood vessels on skin, blood shot eyes, red and swollen eyelids. Unlike acne which tends to affect people in their teenage years, rosacea tends to affect people age 30 years and older.

  • Staph

    The staph bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus, can be commonly found on our skin. Staph infections can present as large, painful bumps that look like acne, and are relatively minor and treatable with antibiotics.

  • Skin cancer

    Another skin condition that can be mistaken as acne is skin cancer, which can start out like acne: as small, pink, or red pearly bumps. They can progress in pinkish growths with raised edges or even open sores. That is why it is always a good idea to get a professional diagnosis from a board-certified dermatologist.

Acne treatment FAQs

  • What is the best medicine for acne?

    Depending on the type of acne, your doctor will prescribe the appropriate medicine. There are prescription oral antibiotics for treating moderate acne to severe acne such as Doxycycline and Minocin (minocycline). There are also topical medications such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and topical retinoids. For women, birth control pills can be effective in controlling breakouts associated with menstrual cycles.

  • How can I clear up acne fast?

    In many cases, there is no one treatment that will magically clear your skin. Identifying the type of acne and treating that will yield the best results. A doctor or board-certified dermatologist can help you figure out the best treatment approach.

  • What birth control is best for acne?

    Birth control pills can be effective in controlling breakouts associated with menstrual cycles. The FDA has approved the following types of birth control for acne: Estrostep, Beyaz, Yaz, and Ortho Tri-Cyclen.

  • Does insurance cover acne treatment?

    This depends on your insurance coverage. In some cases, if the insurance provider considers your treatment as a medical necessity, the treatment can be covered. Always check with your insurance provider before beginning treatment options.

  • Does acne go away naturally?

    Pimples can go away on their own from 1 week to 1 month or so. However, for severe acne, it is advisable to seek treatment with a medical professional as soon as possible. They can also help with acne scars and dark spots.

  • Can acne medicine cause depression?

    The direct link between isotretinoin (discontinued brand name Accutane) and depression is the subject of continuous scientific research. While isotretinoin is an effective acne medication, back in 1998, the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning to doctors regarding a possible association with depression, psychosis, suicidal ideation, and suicide.

  • What is the strongest treatment for acne?

    In cases where acne is severe, retinoids, birth control, isotretinoin, chemical peels or antibiotics may be used. These are often prescription-strength treatments and will require a consultation with a doctor or dermatologist to make sure they are appropriate for you.