Many people believe that the drying properties of rubbing alcohol help heal acne, but rubbing alcohol actually causes more blemishes than it heals, according to About.com Acne. Facing Acne explains that rubbing alcohol causes the skin to dry, which leads to acne by increasing hyperkeratosis, triggering overproduction of skin cells in the neck of a skin pore lying over an oil-producing sebaceous gland.
On About.com, skin care educator Angela Palmer explains that using alcohol in addition to other drying agents does more harm than good in fighting acne. She recommends using other types of acne treatment, such as an astringent toner that helps remove oiliness associated with acne.
WebMD also discusses the ways to treat various types of acne. Many mild forms of comedonal acne in teens and young adults typically respond well to traditional topical creams and gels, such as Retin-A, Differin, Renova, and Tazorac, which work by unblocking the clogged pores that lead to acne. WebMD also explains that dermatologists usually prescribe oral contraceptive pills or spironolactone for the treatment of hormonal acne or inflammatory acne that occurs often in women and girls. People who have severe, stubborn acne that does not respond to conventional treatment may also look into laser therapy.