Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Are there any ways to make my skin less oily without taking medication?"

ZocdocAnswersAre there any ways to make my skin less oily without taking medication?


I have very oily skin which leads to some moderate acne problems. I'm 24 and don't want to take anything like Accutane because I've heard bad things. Are there any safe ways to make my skin less oily? Like perhaps through my diet?


Oily skin contributes to acne simply because the over active oil glands in the skin produce secretions which clog the pores, leading to acne. As you search for methods to reduce oiliness, make sure that you don't use things that excessively dry out the skin (for example, some people apply rubbing alcohol to their face); excessive dryness can actually case the oil glands to become stimulated and produce even more oil. There are several common sense approaches that are absolutely essential. For example, minimizing the use of cosmetics is essential to keeping the skin clean and clear. Additionally, using an antibacterial soap will keep down the bacteria which tend to make the acne more reddened and inflamed. After these simple steps, I generally recommend a comedonolytic acne cream either containing benzoyl peroxide or salicyclic acid. If these do not work, then you will need to see your primary care doctor or your dermatologist in order to get a prescription strength medication. Accutane is very effective, but this is sort of the last line treatment when all else fails. There are numerous other prescription strength creams and ointments that can be tried before Accutane that are also very effective and have many fewer side effects.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.