Even though acne is a self limiting condition in most cases, it presents at that time of life, when outward appearance is the most important factor in a teenager’s life. These youngsters are very anxious about their skin eruptions and want to get rid of the pimples as soon as possible. For this reason, they try out different acne medicines.
The Two Main Anti-Acne Fighters
Benzoylperoxide is one of the leading ingredients in over the counter acne medicine as well as prescription drugs. It is effective against P.acne, the bacteria causing acne. It also had a mild drying and peeling effect which helps renew skin and thus helps heal old acne marks.
The other main chemical, which helps fight acne, is salicylic acid. This slows down shedding of cells inside follicles and therefore prevents clogging. Salicylic acid decreases the formation of blackheads, whiteheads and can also be used for other skin conditions like psoriasis, dandruff, corns, etc.
Benzoylperoxide and salicylic acid are found in several over the counter acne medicines. These drugs are found in the form of face washes, ointments, gels, scrubs and topical solutions. Proper use of these products is mostly strong enough to combat the formation of large pustular pimples, characteristic of acne. They are not expensive, easy to use and have no harmful side effects to be considered.
Often, teenagers are so upset about their acne that they refer to dermatologists almost at once. The dermatologist recognizes their anxiety and prescribes drugs which are often not required. Oral and topical antibiotics are commonly prescribed which not only are expensive acne medicines but may also have side effects like photosensitivity, nausea and vomiting. Other stronger prescriptions like retinoid derivatives have serious teratogenicity and can cause severe fetal deformities, if the patient is pregnant.
These acne medicines should only be taken for severe cases of acne, such as nodular acne and even then, the patient should be thoroughly warned about the potential side effects of the drug.
To conclude it can be said that although there are several lines of drugs available for the treatment of acne, they should be avoided in mild cases of acne. Doctors should explain to the patient that mild over the counter drugs are best for such situations. The best acne medicine for a mild condition is time. With time and care, the skin clears up on its own, without depending on harsh chemicals.