Different Acne Medications

There are many different acne medications that can help prevent and reduce your acne. Since there are different severity levels of acne, there are different strengths of acne medications. Over-the-counter topical ointments are the most commonly used acne medication. These lotions usually contain benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid or sulfur. The medicine in the lotion will exfoliate the skin and get rid of dead skin cells to keep pores clean. It will also reduce the sebum production and kill all the acne causing bacteria. The ointments are best used for mild acne and can have some side effects. These side effects include excessively dry skin, rash and sensitivity.

Prescription topical treatments are another common form of acne medication. It is best used for moderate to severe acne. This medication may be too strong for mild acne. The treatments usually contain retinoids along with benzoyl peroxide. These lotions quickly exfoliate the skin. The cell turnover is what helps keep the pores clean. Also, the lotions kill the bacteria that causes acne and dries up the the oil that clogs the pores. These topical treatments could also cause side effects, so speak with your doctor if you experience excessive dryness, burning or stinging.



Antibiotics are used to treat moderate to severe acne. They reduce inflammation and fight off the bacteria that causes the acne. Isotretinoin is an acne medication used to cure severe acne. It is a very powerful medication and is only available by prescription. It is associated with severe side effects so close monitoring by your doctor is important.

Oral contraceptives are another form of acne medication. Although its main use is to prevent pregnancy, it helps prevent and reduce acne. This is due to balancing the hormone levels. When hormones increase, acne is more common. So controlling the hormones will help control the acne.



Since there are many different forms of acne medication it is important to know which one would best suit your needs. If you have mild acne, an over-the-counter cream should do the job, but if your acne is moderate to severe you may need more. The best thing to do in this situation is to speak with your doctor about the possible treatments and which one would be most beneficial for you.


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