Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acner.org: Acne treatment

Different Acne Medications

Different Acne Medications Different Acne Medications Different Acne Medications

A large variety of treatments exist for treating acne. Acne medications range from simple over-the-counter washes to powerful prescription creams. If you have acne, the type of treatment required depends on multiple factors, including whether you have oily, dry or combination skin; what type of blemishes you have; the severity of your acne; and your tolerance to medications. Speak with a dermatologist about your personal acne treatment options.

Retinoids

Vitamin A derivatives called topical retinoids come in cream or gel form and treat moderate to moderately severe acne. Topical retinoids include tazarotene, adapalene and tretinoin. These medications effectively expel existing dirt and oil from your pores while preventing breakouts from occurring. According to Mayo Clinic, topical retinoid side effects include severe skin burning, stinging, peeling or redness. Transient worsening of your acne may occur as part of the natural course of treatment, and will eventually improve. It may take 12 weeks or longer to see desired results.

Benzoyl Peroxide

A considerable amount of over-the-counter acne treatments contain benzoyl peroxide as the active ingredient. Benzoyl peroxide creams and washes come in concentrations of about 2.5 to 10 percent. These treatments effectively dry up excess oil, fight bacteria and unclog pores. According to the American Academy of Dermatology’s AcneNet, benzoyl peroxide may cause your skin to become too dry. Benzoyl peroxide is most effective for oily skin with acne. Lower concentrations of benzoyl peroxide may be more mild for dry or combination skin. Dermatologists sometimes prescribe medications that contain benzoyl peroxide as well as a prescription antiobiotic, such as erythromycin, for moderate to severe cases of acne.

Salicylic Acid

Many over-the-counter washes and creams that don’t contain benzoyl peroxide contain salicylic acid instead. Topical salicylic acid comes in different strengths, with some preparations only available by prescription. Salicylic acid differs from benzoyl peroxide in that it doesn’t reduce oil production or fight bacteria. Salicylic acid primarily treats small, non-inflammatory blemishes by unclogging pores and regulating the shedding of dead skin cells to prevent clogged pores from reappearing. Salicylic acid may be less effective at treating oily skin and inflammatory acne, but it is a good alternative if you have dry skin with less frequent breakouts and fewer blackheads. Salicylic acid may cause mild skin irritation.

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