We all know there are dozens of over-the-counter treatments for acne. This is because the companies that manufacture these products know that when the first pimple appears, everyone heads for the corner drugstore to buy over-the-counter medication. They may take the time to ask their friends what works, but most likely they will go on their own and choose whatever looks good at the time. What people should do is go to their doctor to get properly diagnosed and to ask questions about treatment options. Even though acne is not a life or death situation, your doctor can really help you make good decisions based on scientific evidence about what type of treatment would be good for your type of acne.
When you depend of advice from your friends you are really not doing yourself any favors. They may have a different type of acne than you have so what product works best for them may do absolutely nothing for you. It is better if you do some research to find out what types of medications are in these over-the-counter medications and what they do so you can choose something that will work for you.
Salicylic acid is another common ingredient found in acne medications. This ingredient prevents acne by clearing up dead skin cells that are accumulating too quickly and clogging the pores. Products which contain salicylic acid should continue to be used after the skin has cleared up to prevent future outbreaks of acne. The only side effects associated with salicylic acid are dry, irritated skin.
Benzoyl peroxide is a very popular and versatile ingredient found in a lot of acne medications. It comes in gel or ointment form and is effective because it fights the bacteria that is causing the acne. It also is found in cleansing liquids or bars, as well as lotion, cream, and gels which are applied directly on the skin. It also removes dead skin cells that have accumulated on the surface of the skin. This is important because the dead skin cells combined with the oil in your skin is what is clogging you pores and causing acne in the first place. Benzoyl peroxide has also been proven to be safe and effective in combating lesions. Using this product after acne clears up will help to keep the acne causing bacteria off of your skin. You should know that the side effect commonly found with benzoyl peroxide is dry skin. It may also bleach hair and clothing so you should be careful when using it.
Other common ingredients you may see in acne medications include resorcinol and sulphur. Resorcinol peels the top layer of skin including dead skin cells that clog the pores. Sulphur has a strong, unpleasant odor that is why it is not usually used by itself. It may be combined with Resorcinol or salicylate aced or benzoyl peroxide. It is not known how sulphur affects acne conditions, but it has been used effectively for more than 50 years.
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