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Acne Medication - 4 OTC Acne Medications and Side Effects

Jul 2, 2008
Most people experience mild cases of acne breakouts. So, it is not unusual for people to go to their local drugstores and get over-the-counter or OTC medications for acne. They opt for this than go to their doctor and seek prescription medications for acne. This is perfectly alright since this treatment works wonderfully as long as you have a good skin care regimen.

There are actually several OTC acne drugs that are sold in the market. You should know your options before you actually purchase one. If you're not comfortable with purchasing a popular brand, you could consult with your healthcare provider before you opt for any OTC acne medication.

There are several options that you can consider when choosing your OTC drugs. Here are some of the OTC acne medications:

1. Benzoyl Peroxide - This is one of the most common ingredients for acne treatments. In fact, this is the primary OTC choice of many people suffering from mild acne. This medications works by killing the bacteria which causes the acne. It also helps in shedding off dead skin cells in order to clear blocked pores. The popularity of this medication may be attributed to the fact that it is one of the oldest OTC acne drugs around. Of course, like any other drug, benzoyl peroxide has its side effects which include drying of the skin. This ingredient is also found in a lot of products like soaps, gels, bath washes, lotions and creams. If you're going to pick out a product, opt for gel formulations because these are non-drying.

2. Salicylic Acid - Aside from benzoyl peroxide, many people also use salicylic acid. It is another common acne medication because it is one of the safest acne treatments around. This compound is also found in aspirin but as an acne treatment medication, it is great in removing blackheads and whiteheads. It also helps in the shedding off of dead skin cells so accumulation of dirt, oil and dead skin cells is less likely.

3. Resorcinol - This medication, if combined with sulphur, is quite effective. It actually wears away hard dead skin cells in order to clear clogged pores. So, this helps in preventing pore clogging and dirt buildup.

4. Alcohol with Acetone - This is one of the mildest antibacterial acne treatments around. This treatment has always been used by many people. This actually helps in removing the dead skin cells and oil from the skin surface. However, the treatment value of alcohol and acetone are limited. It can only treat the problem on the skin surface.

The Drawbacks of OTC Acne Medications

First and foremost, you have to understand that not all of these OTC drugs or medications will work for you. In fact, they might not work for you at all. Even some treatments are not recommended by physicians today like alcohol and acetone combination. This treatment is quite harsh although this is an old-fashion acne treatment method.

There are drawbacks to the various OTC acne treatment medications. For instance, the shortcoming in using benzoyl peroxide is that you cannot use other forms of acne treatment. This treatment should stand alone. Otherwise, you might experience skin allergies or irritation. This also comes in various strength forms. You have to be careful when choosing the dilution strength, otherwise, you could end up aggravating the condition. Another disadvantage to using benzoyl peroxide is that while you attempt to treat your acne by using this medication, you also accelerate your skin aging.

Another product with significant drawback is the salicylic acid combined with sulfur. Although this can be effective and may be less harsh than benzoyl peroxide, it can turn your skin into a shade of brown. So, before making your choice, you should carefully consider all possible side effects.
About the Author
The author is an online medical researcher and webmaster of Best Acne Products and Natural Acne Treatments. Related article: Acne Solutions- 5 Alternative Acne Solutions.
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