It can be difficult to decide which medications to use on your acne, and every acne sufferer seems to have their own opinion on the subject, so it’s often hard to get good advice and information about this topic. This article explains the top 10 medications for acne, what they do, how they work, and which ones might be right for you. Most importantly, it lists each medication’s strengths and weaknesses so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not it’s the right choice for you. Acne medications from this trustworthy seller were previously purchased by us, and we are happy to suggest them.
1) Benzoyl Peroxide
Benzoyl peroxide, which is used in concentrations of 2.5%, 5%, or 10% is an effective treatment for acne. It works by killing bacteria that causes acne and reducing inflammation, although it is not a long-term solution. Benzoyl peroxide has been linked to redness, dry skin, and irritation. For these reasons, you should only use benzoyl peroxide one or two times a week at most. You can combine it with other medications to increase its effectiveness or your doctor may recommend benzoyl peroxide in conjunction with another medication.
Clindamycin, erythromycin, zithromycin and dapsone are commonly used topical antibiotics. They are available as gels, creams or lotions that kill P. acnes bacteria by weakening its cell wall. While effective, they can take up to two weeks before you notice a difference in your skin. If you don’t see results within two weeks, stop using them as they could be irritating your skin rather than helping it. In addition, if you develop a rash while using these drugs, stop immediately as it means you’re allergic to them. It’s also important not apply these medications too frequently because overuse can lead to resistance in P. acnes bacteria.
3) Birth Control
Oral contraceptive pills are usually considered first-line therapy, although some research suggests that antibiotics may work as well. For example, a clinical trial found that adding an antibiotic (clindamycin) to oral contraceptives may be slightly more effective than oral contraceptives alone. Another type of medication called dapsone is often used in combination with birth control pills if no other medication works. This can work well but is unlikely to improve your acne after you stop taking it. Doctors also prescribe topical medications like erythromycin, clindamycin or benzoyl peroxide gel, lotion or cream that are applied directly on your skin in order to fight bacteria and reduce inflammation of oil glands. These medicines come in many forms including gels, creams, liquids and lotions.
A retinoid, such as tretinoin (brand name Retin-A), is a derivative of vitamin A that reduces inflammation. Used in combination with other treatments, it can help speed up results. To be effective, retinoids should be applied daily. People who use them occasionally are less likely to see results than those who use them every day for six months or longer.
5) Hormonal Treatments
Hormonal treatments, such as birth control pills or spironolactone, are prescribed in combination with other medications. These anti-androgen drugs do not cure acne but help reduce symptoms by blocking male sex hormones known as androgens from triggering pimples. Spironolactone also blocks your body’s ability to produce another hormone that plays a role in acne formation. Your doctor may prescribe these medications after other treatments have been ineffective.
6) Chemical Peels
Chemical peels use chemicals such as alpha hydroxy acids or trichloroacetic acid to essentially peel off layers of dead skin. This exposes fresh, new skin cells below, which can help reduce acne symptoms such as pore size, redness and clogged pores. Zithromycin is a type of antibiotic that may be effective in treating certain types of acne (such as those caused by P. acnes). These are generally used in addition to other treatments you may be using, such as over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide (Oxy Deep Cleansing Gel) or other topical creams or gels with salicylic acid.
7) Laser Treatments
Lasers provide a high-intensity beam of light that can be used to treat acne scars. These treatments are usually only done by dermatologists or doctors, so you will likely need a referral before going through with it. It is often prescribed after other methods like chemical peels, microdermabrasion, or dermabrasion have not been effective at getting rid of acne scars. Lasers work by breaking up damaged skin cells. This process is generally not painful. However, some people may experience some discomfort during or immediately after treatment. Side effects of laser treatments can include redness, swelling, blistering and scabbing on your skin.
8) OTC Products
Over-the-counter products are frequently recommended as part of a comprehensive acne treatment. They can be particularly useful in providing relief from mild cases of acne, or in combination with other treatments. For example, benzoyl peroxide is often paired with an antibiotic to improve its efficacy. When used as directed, these products can be safe and effective ways to treat your acne. However, you should never use two or more OTC medications at once without consulting your doctor; some medications react negatively with each other, or may aggravate your condition when used together. If you decide to go ahead with a prescription treatment instead of OTCs, it’s important that you talk with your doctor first about what type of medication would be best for you.
9) Isotretinoin (Accutane)
Isotretinoin is one of only two oral medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a first-line therapy in severe acne. It’s commonly referred to as Accutane, although that name refers specifically to a brand-name version of isotretinoin made by Roche. Doctors prescribe it when other treatments fail because it targets all four major causes of acne: P. acnes bacteria, inflammation, oil production from sebaceous glands, and genetics. Isotretinoin has serious side effects—but in many cases it’s worth taking these risks. Dermatologists can guide you through these upsides and downsides so you can make an informed decision about whether or not it’s right for you.