Doctors at the Mayo Clinic report that there are a number of effective acne medicines on the market to relieve the discomfort and appearance of acne. Acne, or pimples, can affect people of all ages. Mild and moderate cases can be treated with self care and over-the-counter treatment, while more severe cases may require medical interventions.
After trying over-the-counter remedies, many people with acne talk to a family physician. A dermatologist, however, may keep up with the most up-to-date and effective medicine to treat acne.
Acne medicine works by drying the oil that causes the eruptions. Acne medicines also help speed up skin regeneration, reduce infection and prevent swelling.
Prescription and over-the-counter acne medicine must be used regularly to produce results. Acne medicine can take up to six weeks to begin working.
Infections that cause acne usually are treated with oral antibiotics. The pills may be taken for a couple months in combination with topical applications.
Severe acne is treated with more powerful medicine, such as isotretinoin, that causes side effects. Liver enzyme production and triglyceride and cholesterol levels can increase. Strong acne medicine also can cause birth defects.
While exposure to the sun and other ultraviolet light sources can help to dry out acne, some acne medicines react negatively to sunlight. Sunscreen is recommended for those using topical retinoids.
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