Home » Health » Acne

Over-The-Counter vs Prescribed Acne Products

Aug 17, 2007
If you are one of the many people who suffer from acne on a regular basis, then you are probably also constantly searching for effective acne treatments to help ease your discomfort. Not only can acne be physically painful, but it can also leave some emotional scars as well. Embarrassment, social withdrawal and depression may all result from acne, which is why it is important to locate quality acne products that are both safe and effective.

When it comes to acne treatments, there are both prescription-only and over-the-counter products available to sufferers. Typically, over-the-counter products are more affordable and can often be just as effective as prescription-only acne treatments. However, it is often necessary to seek medical attention if acne worsens or fails to respond to conventional acne products. When this occurs, a more aggressive treatment approach may be needed. The main goal is to determine which category you fall into and when, if ever, it's time to seek medical help.

Currently, a number of over-the-counter acne products line retail store shelves. Some of the most popular are those that contain a natural ingredient known as aloe vera, which is known for its healing effects, gentleness and soothing ability. This ingredient is thought to expedite the healing process and is, therefore, a very common ingredient in over-the-counter acne products.

Although acne treatments featuring aloe vera are widely available at local retail stores, they should be used with a certain degree of knowledge and care. For instance, aloe vera acne products are not recommended for the treatment of infected or severe acne breakouts. The main reason for this is because it is unadvisable to apply any type of lotion or treatment to a deep or infected area without medical consultation.

Speaking of medical consultations, severe acne breakouts are often treated with Accutane, which is a powerful prescription-only medication that is commonly sought when all other methods of treatment have failed. Although some users may find that their skin actually worsens in the beginning of Accutane acne treatments, this typically subsides within four weeks. The entire treatment process is estimated to take between 4-6 months and has been used by more than two million acne sufferers.

Although Accutane can be effective in treating acne under proper, medically-supervised conditions, it is not without risk. Among the potential side effects are depression, birth defects, headaches, thinning hair, nosebleeds, dry skin, and joint or muscle pain. A high cost of treatment, combined with potentially dangerous side effects, have forced most acne sufferers and physicians to use Accutane only as a last resort. With that being said, many acne sufferers have succeeded with Accutane treatments where other acne products had previously failed.

When selecting acne treatments, it is essential that you understand both the benefits and risks of use. Any medication can have the potential for dangerous side effects. A little research, a lot of knowledge and some patience will prove to be a great asset in selecting both safe and effective acne products.

The information contained in this article is designed to be used for reference purposes only. It should not be used in place of professional medical advice or recommendations relating to the use of acne products and/or acne treatments. If you believe that you have a problem with acne that requires medical attention, consult a physician or dermatologist for a professional evaluation and recommended treatment program.
About the Author
Brian Dolezal is a contributing editor for TopConsumerReviews.com. TopConsumerReviews.com is a leading provider of independent reviews and rankings for hundreds of consumer products. Find out how top acne treatments compare by visiting TopConsumerRe views.com today.
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