Acne Skin Care Products
by: Alison Cole
Most products used medically in acne prevention and treatment contain specific compounds that address the problem. Their presence in a product will be mentioned on the packaging.
One of these compounds is benzoyl peroxide, sometimes in combination with the antibiotic erythromycin. The popular Clearasil contains this agent. The main disadvantage of using products containing it is that benzoyl peroxide can be a MAJOR skin irritant, since peroxide is basically an oxidant which can damage healthy skin tissue. Though they are very effective in many cases, the pros and cons of using benzoyl peroxide-based products must be carefully weighed by a dermatologist before they are actually employed.
Tretinoin is another chemical compound which has found favor with dermatologists, since it has a dermabrasive (i.e. skin peeling) effect and allows pores to decongest. Invariably, tretinoin causes an aggravation of the acne before it begins to work beneficially. It can also produce some unpleasant side effects like temporary pigment changes and flushing, stinging, swelling and scaling of skin. This is expected and no cause for alarm. Products containing tretinoin are available in the form of gels, lotions and creams for topical application and their consistent use can produce favorable results in less than a month. Tretinoin treatment is for a medically specified time period only, and should not be employed beyond that.
Another commonly occurring agent in acne treatment compounds is adapalene gel, which works by keeping skin pores clear and unobstructed. Products containing adapalene are available only by medical prescription and must not be used outside close dermatological monitoring. Though generally beneficial, they can cause itchiness, scaling, extreme localized dryness, and an inflamed appearance.
Many dermatologists prescribe oral antibiotics such as doxycycline, tetracycline and minocycline. Again the benefits must be medically weighed against possible complications like stomach upsets, vertigo and reduced efficacy of birth control pills in women.
It is important to note that effective acne treatment usually involves lifestyle changes as well a medicine. It is wise to consult a dermatologist before taking any acne medicine.
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