Acne Treatment Products
Keeping Acne Under Control - The Most Popular Over-the-Counter Drugs and Prescribed Medications
To date, no one has discovered a definitive cure for acne. But, because the disease affects almost everyone at some time or another, Acne treatment products are designed to treat acne symptoms and prevent future flare-ups constitute big business. Products abound and change with lightning speed from year to year, and even month to month.
Some Acne treatment products be purchased over the counter at your neighborhood drugstore; others must be prescribed by a licensed dermatologist. One word of warning, though: Even the most well-known (and, for that reason, seemingly safe) over-the-counter drugs can produce undesirable side effects or be rendered ineffective if you use them incorrectly, as many people unwittingly do.
Consequently, we feel it’s always smartest and safest to consult your dermatologist before trying any acne medication on. He or she can help you sort through the confusing array of choices that await you in the skin care aisle, make useful suggestions about which products are best for your skin and your type of acne, plus give you sound advice about when to suck with or abandon a medication that doesn’t appear to be working.
Acne can be an extremely tricky disorder to treat. It appears for a while, then goes into remission, sometime for a few days, sometimes for a month, sometimes for good. What works well for one person, or one kind of acne, may be ineffective for a second, and positively disastrous for a third. By working with your dermatologist from the beginning, chances are that you will not only eliminate much costly and time consuming trial and error, but also achieve a more effective, lasting solution to your problem.
Fortunately, acne sufferers and their dermatologists have a huge variety of top-flight Acne treatment products at their disposal. Nearly all of these products, whether sold over the counter or prescribed, attempt to combat acne in one or more of the following ways: by removing excess oil from the surface of the skin by reducing the bacterial count within the oil ducts by controlling hormone levels by reducing sebum production
OTC Acne Treatments
Over-the-counter medications typically focus on fighting bacteria and/or clearing surface oil; prescribed drugs focus on fighting bacteria, controlling hormonal activity, or reducing sebum production. Within both groups, many different forms of medication exist. Some are topical agents packaged as cleansers, lotions, and creams; others, almost always prescribed, are taken orally.
As you might expect, the relative strength and potential side effects of any given medication are closely linked: Generally speaking, the more potent the medicine, the more serious the possible side effects. A powerful prescription drug like Accutane, for example, may do wonders to clear up a chronic case of severe acne, but may also cause dryness of the skin, sore muscles, impaired nighttime vision, and other undesirable consequences in patients who use it.
By contrast, a relatively mild over-the-counter Acne treatment products like Oxy-5 or Clearasil probably won’t produce any side effects more serious than some superficial dryness, but it may not do much to combat an especially tough case of acne, either.
When selecting acne treatment products, then, we are almost always in the business of making trade-offs of one sort or another. To help you better understand the benefits and drawbacks of the many products currently available to acne sufferers, we will examine the key active ingredients used in today’s most popular products in a "pros” and "cons” format. Our discussion begins with over-the-counter products, then progresses to prescribed medicines.
Common ingredients in Over-the-Counter Drugs and Products for Treating Acne and Pimples
Over-the-counter (or OTC, for short) acne medications use a variety of drying and antibacterial agents as active ingredients such as Sulfur, Resorcinol, Salicylic Acid, or Benzoyl Peroxide.
Acne Product Ingredients