Over the counter medications and products to treat acne offer a less expensive and widely accessible option to get rid of annoying zits.
With so many of such products available in drugstores, and all at different prices, it can get a bit confusing when it comes to choosing the best over the counter acne medicine.
Whiteheads and blackheads usually respond well to most of the medicines designed to work against acne. Cystic acne, on the other hand, takes longer and will in fact barely respond to over the counter medications.
In this article, we will go through some of the features and ingredients to look for in powerful over the counter medicines that may help you get rid of acne. We will also look at the available prescription acne medicine options.
Best over the counter acne medicine that will remove zits
A top medicine to treat zits that will certainly work should contain any or several of the following compounds:
Most cases of moderate and mild acne respond very well to this compound. In fact, it is all that is needed in most cases.
Benzoyl peroxide inhibits and kills acne bacteria. It also clears dead skin, thus reducing acne inflammation. These are two very important effects that help clear mild zits.
Most experts agree that top medicine pills for acne sold over the counter should definitely contain this compound. When used in body washes, it can bleach fabric.
Oxy Spot Treatment, Proactiv and Exposed Acne Treatment are some of the OTC brands that contain the compound.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids
There are about 3 notable acids in this category that may have some anti-acne benefits. They include lactic, citric and glycolic acids.
In cases where acne is resulting from skin dryness, OTC products that contain these acids are the best. They reach deeper into the skin than most OTC products. Some reviews suggest that they may help with scars and skin spots, and even wrinkles.
For skin exfoliation, try AHA pads. They are less expensive, and more effective for that matter.
Sunday Riley and Acne.org AHA+ products are good AHA examples.
This is perhaps the most common compound used in OTC anti-acne products after benzoyl peroxide. In fact, some doctors will only recommend salicylic acid containing products.
The acid produces some of the most effective results in drawing moisture from whiteheads and blackheads. This ensures that the zits peel off with minimal scarring. Most OTC acne medicine for adults carries 2%-10% of the acid. The acid is also found in pads used to treat warts under the armpit and related conditions such as skin tags and moles.
The acid also makes it hard for bacteria that make acne worse to survive. Although some users have reported cases of skin irritation, it is not common.
Neutrogena wash products and Exposed Acne Treatment are good examples.
Funny enough, it is not known how exactly sulfur works against zits and for its other benefits. Sulfur generally works as an antiseptic.
Topical medicine products for acne that contain sulfur always seem to work for everyone. The good thing is that side effects such as skin drying or irritation are extremely rare. Sulfur is a bit smelly however.
Other sulfur skin-related uses include treatment for psoriasis or even cherry hemangioma.
Indie Lee Blemish Lotion and Peter Thomas masque are good examples.
Retinol is available both over the counter and as a prescription acne medication. It is derived from vitamin A.
Retinol products are quite strong and should be used with care especially with other OTC products. They can lead to skin dryness.
Topical medicine for acne containing any of the discussed will almost always work. They can be ordered online at a user’s convenience.
Topical Acne medicine that works
Topical acne medicine is usually the best for mild acne. Topical application is quite convenient compared to medicine pills.
Other than the products we discussed earlier, you can also consider scrubs that remove acne. Scrubs are great when it comes to skin exfoliation.
For one, use of scrubs allows for removal of dead skin and skin dirt without causing skin dryness. This ensures that skin pores do not get clogged and then produce acne.
A combination of scrubs, body washes, cleansing cloths and specific types of brushes, all meant for acne management, can provide for a lasting OTC solution.
Best prescription acne medicine for adults
Only moderate acne will respond well to over the counter options. For the case of cysts and nodules, prescription medicine pills are usually necessary. This also includes removing scars. Most of the skin brighteners and scar removal creams sold over the counter work no better than placebos.
The best prescription acne medicine depends on the severity and cause of the acne. Different medicine pills to treat acne due to skin dryness may not work as effectively as ones to treat hormonal acne in individual cases.
Prescription pills are the most powerful medicine options we have today. They are the best option to treat cystic acne.
Your doctor will make the right judgement as to which prescription medicine is the best to treat your acne. In most cases, medicine pills and topical creams will be used. Injections with steroidal hormones can also be used.
Best over the counter acne Chinese medicine
Chinese medicine is quite famous in regards to treatment of body conditions that do not result from infections.
In Chinese medicine for treating acne, herbs, dietary modifications, exercises and acupuncture are used together to get rid of acne. These approaches are aimed at discouraging the causes of acne such as bacteria and excess sebum.
The best approach to get details on Chinese medicine for acne is to approach an expert who specializes in Chinese medicine. They will be in the best position to prescribe one or more approaches to help you get rid of acne.
Which is the best way to get rid of acne?
Now that we have discussed most of the available options to access medicine pills and topical creams for acne, let’s review which the best option is:
Over the counter options are both affordable and widely accessible. They also are great choices to heal mild acne. The most important thing is to know what to look for in such products.
Prescription medicine for acne will definitely work even for the most notorious acne. If OTC products have failed to work for more than 8 weeks, approach a dermatologist for prescription medications.
Another commonly pursued treatment option involves the use of natural products such as tea tree oil and zinc supplements. Tea tree supplement may succeed in preventing bacterial infections. You can consider learning more about natural acne treatments such as how to use baking soda for acne and best essential oil for acne scars. The main problem is that natural products have not been confirmed in clinical studies as potent acne treatments.
Zinc can succeed in reducing inflammations, especially when used in the early stages of acne. Be sure to check for the correct dosage for zinc when used for acne treatment.
Forget products promising to fight acne by supplying loads of anti-oxidants to the skin. While they will not harm your skin, they will not help get rid of acne.
Homemade face mask for acne that contains clay may succeed in keeping your skin from excess oil. It however is mostly expensive and no better than cheaply available creams. Avoid lemon juice, sugar and baking soda in such a mask if you have a sensitive skin.
Some reviews suggest that Chinese medicine may be effective in not only promoting recovery from acne but also by improving general body health. It is not generally the first treatment for acne you want to attempt, however.
For best results, try over the counter products containing the ingredients we identified earlier. If those do not work, get medically prescribed acne medicine.