Best Prescription Acne Medications:
Dapsone is actually a product which is more commonly used for the treatment of leprosy than it is for acne. However, it has been proven to be very effective as a method of treating acne.
This is because dapsone possesses fantastic antibacterial properties. It is brilliant at killing all of the awful bacteria on your skin which causes acne.
This is, however, a very strong medication that can only be prescribed by your doctor. It can only be taken orally. You should not miss a dose of Dapsone otherwise it will stop working and you will be undoing all of that hard work you have put into it.
- This is a very effective medication. As a result, it is often one of the first ports of call for doctors when other methods of acne treatment on your skin have failed. Most people will find that their acne clears up in pretty short order when they use this medication.
- The biggest downside to using this is that it is actually a treatment for leprosy and related skin conditions. Yes, there is evidence that it works with acne, but there is no guarantee that it will work on you. You should tell your doctor if you are suffering from any side-effects from using this medication.
How To Select The Best Acne Product
Making a decision while choosing the right pimple medication can be daunting and difficult. Using incorrect products can lead to scarring, increased acne flare-up, clogged pores, and dry skin. While selecting acne medication, it is important to remember certain tips
- Use a topical cream that contains salicylic acid or retinol.
- Do not consume oral acne medication without the prescription of a dermatologist.
- Use products that do not clog pores, i.e., non-comedogenic. Wear makeup and sunscreen that are non-comedogenic as well.
- Always do a patch test before using the acne products like creams and face wash. You can do a patch test behind your earlobe or on the inside of your wrist.
- If the pimples do not show any sign of improvement over the course of 6 weeks, it is best to visit a dermatologist for professional treatments.
How Do Acne Medications Work
Medications treat acne in a number of different ways. For example, topical treatments can work by:
- Reducing the amount of oil on your skin
- Helping your skin heal quicker
- Treating inflammation
- Preventing bacterial infections
Likewise, oral medications often have a similar effect on your skin. However, some oral medications, like contraceptives, may be prescribed if acne is a result of hormonal changes. In this case, the medication is indirectly treating acne.
Its important to understand that not every acne medication, topical or oral, works the same. As a result, its not unusual for doctors or dermatologists to prescribe two different medications depending on the type and the severity of your acne.
In these cases, its important to talk to your doctor about the potential side effects of both medications. Equally important is informing your doctor or dermatologist about any other medications, both OTC and prescription, that youre taking. This will help to avoid potential drug interactions.
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Best Over The Counter Acne Treatments In 2021
Medically reviewed by Katelyn Hagerty, FNP
Making a sound over-the-counter acne product selection can be difficult, if not impossible unless youre fully informed of the ingredients to look for, to ensure minimal trial and error.
When you wake up with a newblackhead, whitehead, or pimple, you need to know you have an effectiveacne-fighting solution in your skincare routine.
Finding the holy grail of spot treatment or all-over acne breakout solution at the drugstoremay take some time. Knowing the best active ingredient to treat blemishes is a good place to start.
Who Is More At Risk Of Acne
Unfortunately, some people suffer from acne worse than others. Bad acne tends to run in families – your mother, father, aunt or uncle probably had severe breakouts when they were a teenager.
Some people also have naturally higher hormone levels and make more sebum, so their skin pores are always clogging up.
If you live in an area that gets very humid or have a job which exposes you to moist heat or grease or tar then you are more likely to get acne.
Chin straps, headbands, and even hair products applied too close to the skin can precipitate a break out as several different medicines – most notably prednisone, phenytoin, and certain hormonal contraceptives that are high in androgens .
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Isotretinoin And Birth Defects
Isotretinoin will damage an unborn baby. If you’re a woman of childbearing age:
- do not use isotretinoin if you’re pregnant or you think you’re pregnant
- use 1 or, ideally, 2 methods of contraception for 1 month before treatment begins, during treatment, and for 1 month after treatment has finished
- have a pregnancy test before, during and after treatment
You’ll be asked to sign a form confirming that you
- understand the risk of birth defects
- are willing to use contraceptives to prevent this risk, even if you’re not currently sexually active
If you think you may have become pregnant when taking isotretinoin, contact your dermatologist immediately.
Isotretinoin is also not suitable if you’re breastfeeding.
What Is Cystic Acne
Cystic acne is the most severe type of acne and is characterized by large, swollen, boil-like nodules. Most cystic acne does not involve true cysts, so medical professionals more often call the condition severe nodular acne or stage 4 acne. As with milder acne, most cystic acne pimples and nodules form on the face and jawline but can also appear on the back, shoulders, neck, or chest.
Four major factors contribute to the development of what doctors call acne vulgaris : excess shedding of skin cells in follicles, excess oil production in the follicles sebaceous glands, bacterial colonization in the follicles, and inflammation caused by the immune systems reaction to the bacterial infection.
Acne starts with a blockage of follicles on the skins surface. Every pore on the surface of the skin opens to a canal called a follicle, which contains a hair and oil gland . Increased levels of male hormones, or androgens, stimulate skin cells in hair follicles to turn over rapidly, filling the hair follicle with excess skin cells. Androgens also stimulate greater oil production by the follicles oil glands. The excess skin cells block the oil gland opening, and sebum backs up behind the blockage, producing a comedo, more familiarly known as a whitehead or blackhead. This is stage 1 or mild acne.
Cystic acne often leaves scars or dark spots, particularly if the nodules are picked at or squeezed. For this reason, they should be treated by a dermatologist to minimize scarring.
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Complementary And Alternative Therapies
Many patients wish to use more natural treatments and may look to herbal and alternative agents for treatment. Although most of these agents are generally well tolerated, there are limited data with regard to efficacy and safety. Additionally, the specific ingredients, concentrations, and potential adulteration with other unwanted chemicals is not well regulated and sometimes cannot be confirmed. These complementary and alternative therapies include tea tree oil , niacinamide , ayurvedic compounds , barberry extract , gluconolactone , antioxidant agents , zinc , probiotic treatments , fish oil , green tea , basil oil , copaiba oil , minerals , resveratrol , rose water , seaweed , taurine bromamine , dietary modification , biofeedback-assisted relaxation , cognitive imagery , and acupuncture .
How Long Does It Take To See Results
Acne is known to be difficult to treat, and each person will respond differently it can take 4 to 8 weeks to begin seeing the results of prescription acne treatments.
Acne therapy typically involves adjusting the medication type and dose, and close monitoring to achieve best results. It is also important to follow your care providers instructions fully to gain the most from your medication.
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Therapeutic Sulfur Acne Treatment Mask By Peter Thomas Roth
This substance, which is a plant-based extract that is often marketed as a retinol substitute, is not a retinoid at all. However, in a few small trials, Bakuchiol showed promise in improving skin texture and fine wrinkles without the negative effects associated with retinoids. Today, it may be found alone in a product or in combination with a low concentration of retinol to assist increase acne-fighting and antiaging properties without raising the risk of adverse effects. Dr. Adotama recommends it as a single ingredient to people searching for more natural acne treatments. Plus, according to recent studies, its especially effective for acne on skin of color.
Topical Medications We Deliver
Topical antibiotics: Antibiotic creams zap the bacteria that cause acne. We usually prescribe topical antibiotics with benzoyl peroxide, which breaks through dead skin cells that trap oil and bacteria.Tretinoin: Another cause of acne is a build-up of dead skin cells that clog pores and lead to inflammation. This Vitamin A-based cream increases cell turnover to keep skin clear.
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Reporting Side Effects To Your Doctor
As with any medication report any side effects, including mild but persistent ones, to your doctor. In some cases, your doctor may adjust your dosage, ask you to stop taking the medication, or try an additional or alternative treatment.
Always speak with your doctor about potential side effects before beginning an acne treatment. Also share a list of other medications, both prescription and OTC, you are taking.
Who Needs Prescription Medication
Acne treatment usually includes a combination of different medications. This can include over-the-counter ones, prescription ones, or both.
Which medications your doctor recommends depends on what type of acne you have and how severe it is. The main types of acne are comedonal, inflammatory, and hormonal, but many people have a combination of more than one type.
Here is an overview of how dermatologists treat acne.
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Are There Side Effects
All medications carry a risk of side effects, and prescription acne medications are no different. The most common side effects are mild and include dry skin, burning, itching and redness.
It is important to tell your care provider about all the medications you are taking, both oral and topical, as some drugs are contraindicated for acne medications and can cause adverse effects.
Some medications, such as isotretinoin have a range of possible mild to severe side effects and must be taken with care.
|Prescription Acne Medication|
Top Prescription Acne Medications Reviewed
By Dr. Jaggi Rao, MD, FRCPC, Double board-certified dermatologist
The best acne medication differs from person to person based on their skincare needs. For some, a gentle over-the-counter option is the best way to reduce acne, but many of us with acne require a stronger, prescription medication. Prescription acne medications are available through your dermatologist, and they can make all the difference in the world for people with severe, cystic, or treatment-resistant acne. Want to know more about your prescription acne medication options? Youre in the right place check out our in-depth reviews below.
Article Table of Contents
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Best Prescription Acne Medications 10 Products Doctors Swear By
The unfortunate reality with acne is that it can either regularly or randomly become extremely severe. Anything from stress to a change in lifestyle or diet can have a huge impact. And when things get bad, you should really not suffer in silence.
If youve had those sudden breakouts that take over your face and cause a lot of discomfort and embarrassment, then you know that all you want is a quick and reliable solution. And if all your other go to products are failing then your next steps are a bit limited.
But just because you have limited choices, doesnt mean there arent viable solutions.When everything else fails and you simply cannot keep your acne under control, then its probably time to talk to a doctor about prescription treatments. These products are not available over the counter, and should only be considered after a careful assessment by a medical doctor.
The active ingredients in these products are highly regulated and often contain strong antibiotics. When you do find the right option though, then you should see a pretty quick improvement.
On this page we will show you some of the most effective products available for different types of skin.
Best Treatments For Adult Acne According To Dermatologists
If you thought your acne days were over when you entered adulthood, the truth is, adult acne exists, and its on the rise! This means fighting acne on top of your already extensive efforts to prevent aging signs for many women.
The unfortunate reality is that dermatology is finding more and more adult women are suffering from acne. Some of the latest stats show that more than 50 percent of women in their 20s and 25 percent of women in their 30s still struggle with acne. Thankfully, acneeven adult acneis totally treatable! If youre still suffering from frequent acne flare-ups, read below to help understand whats causing them and what you can do to get your adult acne
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What Is The Difference Between Teen Acne And Adult Acne
Besides both being extremely annoying, teen and adult acne are similar in that they can both appear in the form of red papules
In your younger years, you may have found that a basic skincare routine was sufficient to keep your skin clear, while some of us may have even washed our face with hand soap in high school without issue. So it may come as a frustrating surprise that your go-to products and even fancy creams and serums from drugstores or Sephora arent helping. In fact, you may find the more products you try your acne condition ends up evenworse.
Using on the chin and the area around the mouth can also trigger acne lesions in this area. This specific type of acne, also called perioral dermatitis, can be very persistent and frequently require oral antibiotics treatment .
The bottom line: unless your skincare
Micronized Formulates: While traditional forms of Salicylic Acid and Benzoyl Peroxide are usually very effective, they can also be somewhat irritating for many. New, micronized forms of these ingredients such as those in MDacne products can penetrate deeper into the skin pores for better efficacy with less irritation.
Retinoidstopical retinoids , which tend to be more drying and irritating and opt for cream-based preparations instead.
Newer, milder retinol formulations that combine retinol with niacinamide allow a gradual adjustment of the skin to retinols with the dryness and irritation typical to older retinoids
How Do Antibacterial Acne Products Work
Topical and oral antibiotics for acne are both prescription-only. They alter the very bacterial structure of the acne-causing agents, andperhaps more importantlyare anti-inflammatory. Antibiotics have a high success rate of as much as 70% after a few months of treatment, according to the Canadian Medical Association Journal. They arent intended for long-term use, however, as theyre shown to cause bacterial resistancewhich means that bacteria can become stronger and stop responding to the medication altogether. This can affect other bacteria in your body, including the bacteria you need.
Tip! Be sure to understand the difference between antibiotics and benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide creates a hostile environment for bacteria, while prescription pills and antibiotic creams alter the very structure of the problem-causing agents.
Benzoyl peroxide is often used as a supplemental treatment with antibiotics, and also as the recommended care regimen after a relatively short period of antibacterial use. Read more aboutbenzoyl peroxide and its role in fighting acne from The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology.
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Accutane For Acne Treatment
This is a medication which is only really used when it comes to the treatment of cystic acne. It is never recommended for treating mild acne as using cannon to kill an ant isnt really a good idea.
Even in case of severe cystic acne, your Derm will prescribe accutane only when all types of acne treatment products have completely failed.
Accutane works by trying to decrease the amount of sebum i.e. oil, that your skin is producing. By reducing the amount of sebum produced, it can work to ensure that your pores do not become overly blocked which, ultimately, will keep the acne at bay.
- This is a very effective medication. It is often used as a last resort in only serious cases of cystic acne. Those that use this medication will find that it clears up their symptoms pretty quickly.
- As a strong medication, there are a few downsides to using it. For pregnant women, it can cause birth defects.
Due to the amount of oil being produced by your skin falling, there is a good chance that the medication will cause your skin to dry out which, in some cases, may cause your acne to worsen. As a result, you may be asked to use a moisturizer with this product. In addition to this, some people may suffer from nose bleeds or stomach pain when taking this medication.
Because of these potential side-effects, it is of tremendous importance that you take accutane under an experts supervision.
What Is The Best Home Remedy For Cystic Acne
Cystic acne is the most severe form of acne. Infection and swelling penetrate deep into the skin tissues, so home treatments and over-the-counter topical treatments that work for milder forms of acne do not have much of an effect on the condition. Natural remedies such as tea tree oil and beeswax are mildly effective against pimples, but they have little or no effect on cystic acne. Instead, cystic acne can only be treated with medications. Home treatments can help reduce swelling and pain, but not much more.
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