Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acne Products & Treatments

Acne Products & Treatments

Acne is a condition that does not always require dermatological care, according to the Mayo Clinic. If you have mild to moderate acne, it can be treated with over-the-counter medications with effective active ingredients. If acne is more severe, it may need to be treated with a prescription medication, prescribed by a dermatologist.

Over-the-Counter Treatments

Over-the-counter acne treatments should contain benzoyl peroxide, sulfur, salicylic acid, resorcinol or lactic acid. Products that contain these active ingredients are sold in drugstores and department stores. Some brand names that contain these effective active ingredients include Neutrogena Clear Pore Cleanser and Clean & Clear Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Treatment, Thylox Acne Treatment Soap with Sulfur, Clearasil Adult Care Sulfur Resorcinol Acne Medication, and CellBone's Lactic Acid Peel Gel. Side effects of over-the-counter acne products are usually mild and may include peeling, redness and irritation of the skin, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Topical Prescription Medications

Topical prescription medications are designed for individuals with moderate to severe acne who have not noticed significant results with over-the-counter medications. Prescription medications for acne include products created from vitamin A, including tretinoin, tazarotene and adapalene. Additionally, benzoyl peroxide combination medications may be effective, like a combination of benzoyl peroxide and erythromycin, or benzoyl peroxide and clindamycin. Not all prescription topical medications will work for everyone, and because prescription medications are stronger, side effects may occur. Side effects of topical prescription acne medications may include scaling, flaking or redness of the skin.

Oral Prescription Medications

If the patient does not respond to topical prescription acne medications alone, a dermatologist may prescribe an oral prescription medication in conjunction with a topical medication, or prescribe only the oral medication. Oral medications that may help acne include oral antibiotics, which kill bacteria on the skin; oral contraceptives, which help control hormone spikes in menstruating women; and isotretinoin, often prescribed under the brand name Accutane. Accutane may provide significant results in some individuals, but it may cause severe side effects, including depression, thoughts of suicide and birth defects.

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