While home remedies and diet changes are occasionally great for treating breakouts, long-term and persistent acne does not go away without medication. The good news, however, is that there are several types of reliable and trusted medication used to treat mild to moderate acne. For severe acne, these creams and lotions may be taken with oral medication like antibiotics.
These popular acne treatment medications are known as over-the-counter or OTC remedies. These come in the forms of creams, ointments and lotions that are to be applied directly on the acne, usually once or twice a day. When it comes to acne treatment with OTC remedies, it is not about the brands or companies but about the ingredients that they contain. These active ingredients are what are meant to attack acne, so these are what you should be looking for in any acne-fighting product you buy.
– This is one of the most popular ingredients that fight acne, and rightly so. Benzoyl peroxide kills bacteria and helps accelerate the healing process of the skin. It also directly attacks the excessive sebum that is often the cause of acne. It is found in several creams and lotions and is usually applied once a day, and often used for long periods of time to keep acne at bay.
– Often referred to as the best acne treatment, salicylic acid is extremely effective in treating acne, including moderate and somewhat severe cases. It not only attacks blackheads and whiteheads and treats them, but also helps with swelling, which means it is suitable for using on more severe forms of acne like small cysts and nobules. It helps reduce inflammation and redness, and is found in many popular acne treatment kits, promising to eradicate the problem with an all-rounded one-month skincare regime.
– It is a popular active ingredient in acne creams with is usually meant to help break down blackheads and whiteheads. It works on mild acne problems and may not be suitable for severe cases.
– In cases where acne is being caused by block pores and thus the inevitable accumulation and sebum under the surface of the skin, Retin-A works to unblock pores by enabling cell turnover. It is often used in acne creams along with the aforementioned acne treatment ingredients.
– Sometimes used for acne treatment and often for other skincare problems, azelaic acid is used to strengthen cells along follicles. Its purpose is to help stop sebum eruptions, keeping the skin free of oil that causes acne. It also reduces the growth of bacteria that can eventually lead to acne, thus working as a great acne treatment for those who are allergic to dirt and usually get acne due to bacteria.
These ingredients may be found in acne treatment products on their own or in groups. You should always consult your dermatologist before trying them. Also note that it is recommended you don’t mix too many active ingredients and try one or two at a time.