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The Best Nonprescription Treatments for Teenage Acne

The Best Nonprescription Treatments for Teenage Acne The Best Nonprescription Treatments for Teenage Acne

Hormones are fierce in the teen years, causing a multitude of emotional and physical changes, including acne. To treat mild to moderate acne conditions, nonprescription medications might be helpful. The best treatments, however, vary from teen to teen, depending on skin type and level of acne.

Benzoyl peroxide

For decades, benzoyl peroxide has been the main ingredient in a host of over-the-counter acne medications. It is effective at killing the bacteria that cause acne and eliminating excess oil on the skin. For teens with extremely oily skin, benzoyl peroxide cleansers, masks, lotions and spot treatments can help reduce breakouts and clear existing acne. While benzoyl peroxide is among the most effective nonprescription remedies for acne, positive results can take up to eight weeks, according to Family Doctor.Org. For severe acne, stronger medications containing benzoyl peroxide are available by prescription and in formulas combined with other antibiotic agents. Redness and irritation or allergic reactions can occur with use.

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is another commonly used nonprescription medication that is highly effective for teen acne. Teens with non-inflammatory acne conditions might find cleansers, spot treatments and other products with salicylic acid are their best option, as the ingredient works to correct abnormal shedding of skin cells, unclogging pores and preventing acne from forming, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). However, unlike benzoyl peroxide, the acid does not effect the production of oil (sebum) on the skin, making it a better choice for those with less oily skin.

Sulfur and Resorcinol

Sulfur and resorcinol are two powerful, nonprescription medications for treating acne. When combined, the ingredients help manage small acne lesions. Sulfur has been used for more than 50 years, though it is unclear how the ingredient clears acne, according to the AAD. Sulfur has a pungent odor, making it an undesirable medication for those sensitive to its scent. However, when combined with other active ingredients, such as resorcinol, the odor is subdued. Teens with occasional acne may find this treatment beneficial for diminishing small lesions. Peeling and flaking can occur with initial use.

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