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Remedies for Acne Infections

Remedies for Acne Infections

Acne is a skin condition that can affect anyone of any age, but it is more common in teenagers and pregnant, menstruating or menopausal women. Acne is caused by an overproduction of sebum, or oil on the skin, which can clog hair follicles with the excess oil, dead skin cells and bacteria, according to the Kids Health website. There are several remedies for acne infections.

Benzoyl Peroxide and Salicylic Acid

Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are active ingredients found in many over-the-counter (OTC) acne washes available at pharmacies and grocery stores. Products that contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid as active ingredients are effective in treating mild and moderate acne, states the Mayo Clinic.

Both benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid work to dry up oil on the skin, wash away dead skin cells and reduce bacteria on the skin's surface. However, products that contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide should not be used at the same time. Instead, try one active ingredient at a time to prevent redness, irritation and the chance of more breakouts.


Bacteria can spread from your fingers and hands to your face, which can then get caught in the hair follicles and cause more acne. Additionally, "Sweat, dirt and oil can cause more acne," says the Mayo Clinic. Wearing loose, cotton clothing can prevent sweat from resting on the back or chest, and prevent breakouts on the body. Wearing the hair back and away from the face can help prevent oil from the hair from settling on the face and causing pimples.

Oral Contraceptives

Oral contraceptives are prescription medications containing a combination of hormones, usually estrogen and progestin. Most often, the pill is prescribed to prevent pregnancy in women, but the balance of hormones may also prevent the production of sebum in some individuals, which can reduce acne. Only women can take oral contraceptives and often must get an internal vaginal examination and pap smear before getting a prescription for the medication. Women who are pregnant cannot take oral contraceptives.


Isotretinoin is a strong oral medication that is prescribed by dermatologists. Isotretinoin is generally prescribed only for cases of acne that do not respond to other prescription or OTC medications. Isotretinoin cannot be taken by pregnant women because it can cause birth defects. Additionally, individuals who take isotretinoin must be monitored closely by a doctor, because severe side effects may occur. These side effects may include depression, changes in vision, night blindness and thoughts of suicide. Individuals who notice these symptoms should contact a doctor or hospital immediately.

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