Is there anything more embarrassing than Acne? If you’re under the age of twenty-one and reading this, chances are you just said no. How often, though, have you been through the usual doctor recommended acne medication and had little or no result for your troubles, and your money?
Unfortunately, due to the fact that acne is such a widespread problem in society, and add to that that the active ingredients in most acne medications are pretty much the same, and you’ve got a situation where much of the information concerning the benefits of one acne medication over another acne medication can be dubious, at best. At least doctor recommended acne medication is safe, right? Not necessarily. Doctors get paid, too, and all it takes is for one doctor to say “yes, I recommend this product” for them to be legally able to put it on their packaging. So, what are you supposed to do? Struggle through the pizza-face outbreaks of adolescence and hope for a lack of scars when you get out of college?
Doctor recommended acne medication, with a focus on the “doctor recommended” part.
Not all doctor recommendations are alike- remember that when you do your shopping for your acne medication. Pretty much anything that’s over the counter (as in non-prescription) is probably going to say doctor recommended, but be sure to reference the above paragraph when putting your faith in those words. On the other hand, most prescription strength medications have to be doctor recommended, simply due to the fact that they have to be FDA-approved. Many of those over the counter acne medications don’t necessarily have to be FDA approved in order to be placed on the shelves.
Benzoyl peroxide removes dead skin cells that clog pores and also has anti-bacterial effects that reduce the inflammation caused by bacteria on the skin. Benzoyl peroxide was one of the first medications to be used in treating mild acne and has been used safely probably by your parents, too.
Benzoyl peroxide can be used in with some other prescription acne medications. Your doctor may recommend that benzoyl peroxide be used along with an oral or topical antibiotic.
Salicylic acid helps to stop the shedding of skin cells and unclog pores. Salicylic acid does not have any effect on sebum production or acne. Like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid must be used continuously. Once stopped, acne will likely reappear.
Herbal or natural remedies
Over-the-counter products labeled “herbal,” “organic” or “natural” are marketed as acne treatments but their effectiveness has rarely been tested in clinical trials, and even less so by the FDA. The value of these alternative acne treatments is not known, but if you still want to try them, check with your doctor in case there have been any unusual side effects reported that the company themselves will be loath to make public.
Non-Traditional prescription acne medications
Adults and teens with moderate acne or severe acne should start acne treatment under the care of their doctor or dermatologist with more effective and faster acting prescription medications, such as Differin, Epiduo, Retin A Micro, Tazorac, or Ziana. Medications such as ProActive solution use Salicylic acid.
Staying Acne free, unfortunately, isn’t a matter of magic, and even the above medications can have their drawbacks. Dry skin is the most likely culprit, but even this can be assuaged by the right moisturizing lotion.