Acne Creams That Work
Acne is experienced by approximately 40 million to 50 million Americans, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Adults and teenagers get acne. Each year, 85 percent of U.S. teenagers will have some form of acne. The cause of acne is unknown, but the contributing factors are excess oil, clogged pores, bacteria and inflammation. All of these can be treated with some form of acne cream.
Tretinoin topical is a retinol cream. It is a natural retinoid used to treat acne. There are different brand names for this product, but it is only available by prescription. Tretinoin comes in liquid, cream and gel forms. It unclogs the pores and then keeps them clear. It works by causing the skin to peel, which unclogs pores. Other products that contain sulfur such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid and dandruff shampoos should not be used with tretinoin.
Adapalene and tazarotene are synthetic topical retinoids. They work the same as tretinonin. Both have been proven effective in treating acne. Pregnant women should not use tazarotene. It has caused birth defects in animals, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
Sun sensitivity is a side effect of using retinol creams. A broad spectrum--blocks both UVA and UVB--sunblock of 30 SPF or higher should be used. Exposure to the sun should also be limited.
One of the top over-the-counter acne creams that has proven results is benzoyl peroxide. It removes excess oils and dead skin cells and unclogs pores. It can cause dry skin, redness, stinging and burning, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Salicylic acid is another over-the-counter cream for treating acne. It is one of the top acne solutions purchased without a prescription. It works by slowing skin cell turnover and prevents pores from clogging. Salicylic acid may break down whiteheads and blackheads. It can cause mild stinging and irritation in some people.
Alpha Hydroxy Acid
Alpha hydroxy acid creams are made from sugar-containing fruits. They exfoliate the skin and remove dead skin cells. This clears the pores and reduces inflammation, treating two acne-causing factors. Alpha hydroxy acids also stimulate the growth of new cells, which smooths the skin and helps reduce the appearance of acne scarring, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Using alpha hydroxy acids increases the skin's sensitivity to the sun. There is an increased risk of sunburn while using this product. The FDA advises using a sunblock, limiting sun exposure and wearing protective clothing while using alpha hydroxy acids. The sun sensitivity is reversible and does not continue long after use of the product is discontinued.
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