Acne, full name acne vulgaris, is the world’s most common skin complaint and it has been estimated that 90% of people will suffer with it sometime in their life. For many, this will be during the teenage years but don’t be fooled into thinking that this means it is a trivial teenage complaint.
Acne can affect you at any time and can vary from occasional pimples to a serious medical condition that can cause deep lesions and permanent scarring .So with such a range of conditions to deal with, is acne medication effective and safe? How safe are prescription acne treatments?
Serious conditions call for serious measures and if you suffer from severe acne vulgaris or a rarer condition such as acne congloblata or acne fulminians, your doctor will probably prescribe Isotretinoin.
This is an effective drug that has to be taken under direct medical supervision. As well as numerous side effects that include depression, hallucinations and cracked skin, Isotretinoin also can cause the swelling of the brain and birth defects. Unsurprisingly, doctors are reluctant to prescribe unless in the most serious of conditions.
So is acne medication effective and safe? In the case of Isotretinoin, it is certainly effective but is not safe for everyone.
Steroids are prescribed for some serious acne conditions. Cortisones reduce inflammation quickly and can be administered by injection, topical cream or orally. Side effects include weight gain, mood swings and many minor symptoms. Again, steroids are only available under medical supervision but are effective in many cases.
How safe are over the counter acne treatments?
For mild to moderate cases of acne, there are a number of options, generally in the form of topical skin care. Benzoyl Peroxide is the active component of many acne treatments. It kills acne bacteria, cleans and dries pores and encourages the skin to peel. However drying can lead to increased sebum production because the sebaceous glands overcompensate. Benzoyl Peroxide is safe but it can be counterproductive.
Salicylic acid is a common ingredient of many acne treatments such as Clearasil. This is applied topically to the skin and can be effective for milder cases. It is safe but can cause stinging and irritation and only deals with the effects of acne and not the causes.
Using natural ingredients and a more holistic approach gets the best results. Tea tree oil is an effective ingredient that kills bacteria without damaging your skin and herbal supplements that boost your antioxidant levels, help you fight off acne at source. These alternative methods are proving to be safe and effective without damaging your skin.
Is acne treatment effective and safe? It can be if you choose the product that is right for you.