Common Medications for Acne Breakouts


Acne cannot wholly be avoided, although we can take preventive measures like washing our face, drinking water, eating right, and avoiding oily products on our hair and skin. And so the next logical question is what to do when these flare-ups occur to minimize their damage. The answer is to medicate.

How do we do this and what products do we use?

There are medicated soaps, facial wash, and moisturizers which we can easily buy in beauty or drug stores. They can be used if the breakout is not severe. These non-prescriptive products contain chemicals which help dry up or clear acne such as benzoyl peroxide, alpha-hydroxy acids, salicylic acid, and tea tree oil.

When medicating, it is important to read the instructions carefully. Remember that acne will not heal faster if we put more than what is required. There are instances when such oversight actually results in further irritation.

Note that generally, a combination of acne-fighting chemicals is more effective. For example, your medication might contain both benzoyl peroxide and the antibiotic clindamycin. Other products may have a mix of erythromycin, benzoyl peroxide, and tretinoin. Other people may also use a different chemical in the morning and apply another type in the evening.

Doctors usually recommend oral antibiotics to be taken while continuing with topical medications when acne does not clear up in a few days.

There are different types of acne: pimples, blackhead, whitehead or cystic lesions. Medication depends on what type one is suffering from. When the acne is only a red bump, then it is treated with topical medication which usually comes in creams. When there are open sores, oral medication is recommended in addition to topical medication.

Here is a list of some of the common medications for acne.

  • Corticosteroids such as prednisone or dexamethasone
  • Azelaic acid found in Azalex
  • Topical retinoid medications such as tretinoin, adapalene, and tazarotene
  • Antibiotics such as clindamycin, sodium sulfacetamide, erythromycin, and tetracycline

Remember, however, that before using any product on your skin, always consult with your doctor or dermatologist first to avoid further damage and more serious problems.

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