Top 10 Acne Medicines
Acne is a condition involving the formation of blemishes on the skin, usually on the face, back or shoulders. Many effective treatments are available for acne, including over-the-counter herbs and medicines, prescription drugs, systemic and topical medications and cosmetic procedures.
Isotretinoin is a prescription acne medicine derived from vitamin A. According to Acne.org, isotretinoin is 95 percent effective in treating severe nodular acne, but may cause severe side effects such as depression and suicidal ideation in some.
Tetracycline is an antibiotic used to treat inflammatory acne lesions such as pustules and papules. The tetracycline derivatives minocycline and doxycycline are included in this group and are often used to treat acne caused by bacteria.
Benzoyl peroxide is a topical antimicrobial available over the counter for treating moderate inflammatory acne. It works by reducing populations of the bacterium P. acnes and can be an especially effective treatment for acne vulgaris.
Another over-the-counter antimicrobial, azelaic acid treats mild or moderate inflammatory acne. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, azelaic acid may also be helpful in reducing dark spots that often accompany acne.
Tea Tree Oil
While not technically a medication, tea tree oil is a natural remedy commonly used for acne. According to the National Institutes of Health, tea tree oil is as effective as benzoyl peroxide for treating mild-to-moderate acne and may be less likely to cause side effects.
Tretioin---also known as Retin-A---is a vitamin A derivative used as a topical treatment for acne. Tretinoin works by cleansing pores and preventing re-clogging, although it may cause irritation and peeling in those with sensitive skin.
Corticosteroids are sometimes injected into inflamed acne lesions to reduce swelling and prevent scarring. Healing may begin to occur within three to five days of injection, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
Also known as birth control pills, oral contraceptives are sometimes helpful in treating acne in women. They work by suppressing the production of oil from sebaceous glands over-stimulated by hormones and other factors.
Sodium sulfacetamide is a topical sulfa drug used for treating inflammatory types of acne caused by bacteria. It unclogs pores while killing P. acnes bacteria and is also prescribed for skin conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff.
A powerful broad-spectrum antibiotic, erythromycin can be used topically to treat inflammatory acne. Side effects include skin irritation, dryness and reduced efficacy over time as the bacteria develop resistance to the drug.
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