OTC Treatment for Adult Acne
Many people expect to outgrown acne when they leave their teenage years, however, adult acne is a common condition. Women, particularly those in their late 30s through their 40s, are prone to developing acne; stress and the onset of menopause may be the cause. Fortunately, the skin condition is treatable with over-the-counter products.
The two most common ingredients in over-the-counter treatments for adult acne are benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. Both are proven to treat acne and are readily available and affordable. Another, less common, over-the-counter acne treatment ingredient is tea tree oil, which works by killing bacteria on the skin.
Benzoyl peroxide is an antibacterial agent and kills the bacteria that cause acne. Salicylic acid speeds cell turnover, helping unclog pores, resulting in clearer skin. The acne treatment may contain other ingredients to add moisture, protect from the sun or absorb oil. Some foundations and other types of makeup contain acne treatments.
Before using any acne-clearing product, make sure that you are treating your skin properly. Wash with a mild soap and rinse thoroughly with clear water. Don't over wash the skin or use harsh cleansers. While stripping the skin of oil may seem like a good way to keep your face clear, doing so actually causes the body to produce more oil, creating a circle of irritation and acne.
Over-the-counter acne treatments are available in several forms, including gels, creams, lotions and masks. Used properly, you should see results within several weeks.
While the ingredients in over-the-counter acne medications are generally considered safe, you may find that either benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid irritates your skin. To reduce the likelihood of skin irritation, choose a product that contains only one of these active ingredients. When you begin using the product, apply every third day. Gradually increase to applying every other day, and finally as called for on the package directions. If your skin shows signs of irritation, such as redness or itching, reduce the frequency of application. If irritation continues, switch to a product with a different active ingredient.
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