I've read a lot of different things about acne on this message board. One things seems pretty clear - physicians are not taking time to talk to patients about why acne starts in the first place! I encourage everyone to visit some of the great acne websites out there sponsored by professional physician organizations. For the majority of patients, Acne is caused by abnormal skin turnover, turnover which clogs the pores and leads to the proliferation of p. acnes bacteria. There are two ways to treat acne, one is to treat the underlying cause of the disease by normalizing the skin turnover. This is done with Topical Retinoids. The other way is to treat the effects of the disease with antibiotics and drying agents, eg oral/topical antibiotics, combination agents, benzoyl peroxides. These products work very effectively against inflammatory lesions - red marks on the face, but are not as effective against non-inflammatory lesions (whiteheads and blackheads). Topical Retinoids are extremely effective against the non-inflammatory lesions, but take longer to work against red papules and pustules on the face. Also, Retinoids can cause things to get worse before they get better. They do work, though, if you are patient. Many physicians will prescribe a combination of antibiotics and a retinoid and then ease off to just a retinoid to maintain the clear skin. There are lots of great articles out there, take some time to educate yourself on the best options for you. If you've endured months of over-the-counter treatment, you don't need to waste more money. Go see your family physician or a dermatologist a get the results you deserve.