Prescribed Medicated Lotion for Acne
Nearly 85 percent of Americans suffer from acne at some point in their lives, generally when they are in their teens or 20s, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). While most acne problems will resolve with careful skin care and perhaps some help from over-the-counter remedies, moderate and severe cases might benefit from prescribed medicated lotion for acne.
In a severe case of acne, the skin's sebaceous glands overproduce oil and become blocked, creating cysts and painful swelling far beneath the skin's top layer. The bacteria known as Propionibacterium acnes also plays a role. Dermatologists prescribe medicated lotion for acne in an effort to reduce the inflammation and kill the bacteria that cause acne.
There are two main types of prescribed medicated lotions for acne. The first group is the topical antimicrobials, which include prescription-strength benzoyl peroxide and several antibiotics. These are prescribed to target the acne-causing bacteria directly. The second group, the topical retinoids, includes several different types of compounds derived from vitamin A. These work by unclogging pores and reducing inflammation.
Patients may need to use prescribed medicated lotions for acne for several weeks before they begin to see results, according to the AAD. But these lotions can be effective in curbing acne over the long term, especially if combined with another form of treatment, such as an oral prescription drug, the AAD reports.
All prescribed medicated lotions for acne carry the risk of side effects, according to the Mayo Clinic. These side effects include peeling skin, stinging or burning sensations, and redness. To lessen these side effects, your physician might advise you to gradually increase the amount of cream you use, or to wash it off your skin after a set amount of time.
Not all prescribed medicated lotions are effective against every case of acne. In particular, some of the bacteria that cause acne are becoming antibiotic-resistant, making acne more difficult to treat with topical antibiotics. Your physician may need to try more than one prescription before you find one that works.
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