Acne Fighting Treatments
There is no cure for acne, but there are treatments to help fight it. Many people suffer from acne from their teen years and well into adulthood. The American Academy of Dermatology notes that there is no overnight treatment, as acne fighting treatments take time to be effective. They also note that treatments must be used consistently to be effective. Fighting acne takes discipline; but with time, you should notice positive results.
Over-the-Counter Topical Treatments
Over-the-counter topical acne treatments added to your daily wash routine can be very effective for mild to moderate acne. Look for treatments that contain at least 2.5 percent benzoyl peroxide or 5 percent tea tree oil to fight the bacteria causing the acne infection. Treatments containing salicylic acid will help dry up excess oils, which can be the cause of acne.
Prescription Strength Topical Treatments
When an over-the-counter solution isn't working, a stronger prescription topical treatment may be required. Readers of Acne.org prefer sodium sulfacetamide, rating it 4 out of 5 for how well it works as well as its affordability, and four and 4.5 of 5 for agreeability with the skin.
Azelaic acid comes in a close second, with 4 out of 5 across all three categories. Stronger forms of benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid may also be used.
Dermatologists may prescribe an oral antibiotic in combination with a topical treatment to aid in killing the bacteria that causes acne. An antibiotic topical treatment such as erythromycin may also be prescribed.
Acne.org readers prefer the oral antibiotic Bactrim or Septra, rating it 4 out of 5 for how well it works and agreeability plus 4.5 for affordability. All other antibiotics rated pretty much the same in second place including: tetracycline, minocycline or doxycycline.
Hormone changes are a known cause of acne. It's why the American Academy of Dermatology estimates 85 percent of teenagers within a single year will suffer from acne. Women also experience hormonal changes prior to their menstrual period.
Oral Contraceptives can help keep hormones in balance aiding with these monthly breakouts. Oral contraceptives can cause side effects, such as increased risk of heart disease and high blood pressure.
Isotretinoin, otherwise known as Accutane, is the only prescription approved by the FDA to treat the most severe cases of acne nodules or cysts. When prescribed, dermatologists must schedule regular follow-ups with the patient due to the potential physical and psychological side effects.
It is also warned that women who are pregnant or are planning on getting pregnant should not take this medication as it is known to result in severe birth defects. In many cases, women are prescribed isotretinoin in conjunction with oral contraceptives to ensure pregnancy does not occur.
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