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Are Prescription Medications The Best Choice For Treating Acne?

Feb 20, 2008
In many cases, acne is relatively minor and can be treated with over-the-counter medications. More severe cases will usually need to be treated by a dermatologist and prescription medication. Even in moderate cases, these medications can often be more effective than what you can buy over-the-counter.

There are two forms of prescription treatments for acne - oral and topical. One of the more common treatments for acne is antibiotics which can be taken in either form.

The most common antibiotic for dealing with acne is tetracycline, which kills the bacteria that cause acne and helps to reduce the inflammation associated with it. These treatments can take weeks or even months and usually have to continue even after the acne has cleared up.

A common side effect of tetracycline is an increased sensitivity to sunlight. This can lead to bad sunburns if you are exposed to the sun for too long. Other possible side effects can include dizziness, hives and an upset stomach.

Antibiotic ointments generally have less complications than oral. Plus, when combined with other treatments such as benzoyl peroxide, the bacteria are less likely to become resistant to the antibiotics.

Retinoids are another type of acne treatment. They're derived from vitamin A and are usually in the form of creams or lotions. They're effective for opening clogged pores, which helps to get rid of blackheads and whiteheads. Dry skin is one of the common side effect of retinoids.

Oral retinoids are often used to treat more severe acne that isn't responding to other treatments. They cause the top layer of skin to peel which helps to unclog clogged pores. They also minimize the amount of sebum produced by the body, which is one of the factors that leads to acne.

Oral retinoids can have some serious side effects, however. They can cause birth defects if they're used during pregnancy. They can also lead to liver damage as well as depression, so ongoing medical care is necessary to be sure that they are not causing more problems than they are solving.

If you are dealing with acne - even a mild case - you should consult with a health care professional before choosing any treatment. If your case is more severe, discuss the various options with your doctor or dermatologist to determine the best treatment method for your particular situation.
About the Author
If prescription treatments are not your thing, or you're looking for more natural alternatives first, learn about some easy home remedies for clear skin on the Acne Squad website. Visit www.acnesquad.com for more useful information.
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