Medications that help at this stage include:
- Over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide kills bacteria and helps prevent P. acnes from overgrowing.
- Prescription tretinoin products like Retin-A, Retin-A Micro, and Avita reverse the "stickiness" of the skin cells allowing them to slough normally.
- Over-the-counter salicylic acid 2% lotion is a beta hydroxy acid that also reverses the "stickiness" of the skin cells.
- Prescription topical antibiotics kill the P. acnes bacteria and are often used if a person has some inflammatory papules.
- Prescription oral antibiotics also kill the P. acnes bacteria and are often used if a person has a lot of inflammatory papules.