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Sometimes, skin conditions such as sun damage, melasma, discoloration, and other issues can be remedied or significantly reduced with topical skin treatments. Dr. Paul M. Friedman can evaluate your skin and help you determine whether you may benefit from a topical skin treatment.

Many topical skin treatments should not be used without first discussing them with your doctor. Contact Dr. Friedman for more information on topical skin treatments available at our practice.


Retinoids are derived from vitamin A and can treat acne in cases that are mild to severe. They can also help in reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, and sun damage. Many lotions, creams, and gels containing retinoids are available without a prescription.

Oral Retinoids

Oral retinoids are prescription medications taken by mouth that help to fight off mild to severe cases of acne, as well as some skin conditions caused by aging and sun damage.

Azelaic Acid

Azelaic acid can be a very effective topical medicine to treat mild to moderate acne. It is an antibacterial that can lessen the growth of bacteria under the skin. Azelaic acid can also be helpful in reducing pigmentation and in the treatment of melasma.

Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide is a very commonly used treatment for mild acne. This antiseptic ointment reduces bacteria on the surface of the skin, and helps stave off inflammation. There are a number of benzoyl peroxide products that are available without a prescription.

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is composed of beta hydroxyl acid and is effective in the treatment of acne. It is available in many over-the-counter skin treatments, and works by shedding dead skin cells and helping to clean the pores.

Topical Sulfur

A variety of topical sulfur treatments can be used to treat acne. The treatment acts as an exfoliant, causing dead skin cells to dry and peel away. Like all of the treatment options listed on this page, topical sulfur products should not be used without discussing it first with your doctor.

Topical Antibiotics

Topical antibiotics can often be prescribed when other acne-treatment remedies, such as over-the-counter creams and lotions, have not been effective. Topical antibiotics such as tetracycline, clindamycin, and erythromycin can reduce the growth of bacteria in acne-prone areas.

Oral Antibiotics

Oral antibiotics work to reduce certain bacteria that can accumulate in the skin and cause acne breakouts. They are taken by mouth, and can also help reduce instances of skin inflammation.