Using Acne Medications to Curb Breakouts

Using Acne Medications to Curb Breakouts

Acne is a very difficult condition to live with and very difficult for most people to cope with, but no one needs to suffer with it permanently.  There are many products and treatment options available today, including quite a few acne medications available both from your doctor or dermatologist and at your local pharmacy.  You may already be aware of the many options for acne medications already, as many products are advertised on television and elsewhere.  While many of these commercials and advertisements are typically geared toward teenagers, many with adult acne have found that they can help them as well.

There are two very common ingredients in acne medications; one is benzoyl peroxide and the other is salicylic acid.  Obviously just the names alone should give one a clue as to how potent they can be; any type of peroxide or acid applied to the face is going to do something.  These ingredients are available in very low potencies in most acne medications and so they are usually very safe to use if the instructions are followed carefully.  Benzoyl peroxide kills the bacteria in pimples and works as a cleansing agent.  It also seems to work as a drying agent and peels away the skin slightly.  This seems to help keep new breakouts from happening.  Salicylic acid is a common ingredient in acne medications and works by now allowing skin cells to clog up into enlarged pores or hair follicles; if they are not clogged there will be no breakouts.

Other ingredients in common acne medications can actually be so strong that they damage the skin, even the areas where acne develops.  For example, sulfur can still be found in some products includes washes and soaps.  Sulfur is very harsh on the skin and typically causes redness, dryness, peeling, and even cracking.  Some believe that it’s so harsh that it may even cause more breakouts because the skin gets so irritated it overcompensates by producing more oil than before.  This is true of many acne medications, especially if they’re overused.  This is one danger of people using over-the-counter acne medications without giving much thought as to the instructions or warnings on the label.

Doctors and dermatologists can also prescribe various acne medications and these work very well against even the most severe or chronic cases and breakouts.  Many doctors prescribe not just topical solutions but an entire skincare regimen; cleansing the skin and moisturizing it is always a part of acne treatment.  If your skin is not cleaned properly this provides pimples a virtual breeding ground of bacteria and dirt.  If it’s not moisturized as well then these acne medications can cause dryness, peeling, and other such problems.  As with over-the-counter medications, it’s very important to follow the instructions carefully and to not overuse or abuse the medications even if you have severe breakouts.  Your doctor or dermatologist can provide the most detailed instructions, but those instructions do no good if the patient doesn’t follow them.

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