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Acne Medicine

Doctors usually recommend an OTC or prescription topical medicine for people with mild signs of acne. Topical medicine is applied directly to the acne lesions or to the entire area of affected skin.

There are several OTC topical medicines used for mild acne. Each works a little differently. Following are the most common ones:

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Benzoyl peroxide destroys P. acnes, and may also reduce oil production

 
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Resorcinol can help break down blackheads and whiteheads

 
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Salicylic acid helps break down blackheads and whiteheads. Also helps cut down the shedding of cells lining the hair follicles

 
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Sulfur helps break down blackheads and whiteheads.
 
 
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Topical OTC medicines are available in many forms, such as gels, lotions, creams, soaps, or pads. In some people, OTC acne medicines may cause side effects such as skin irritation, burning, or redness, which often get better or go away with continued use of the medicine. If you experience severe or prolonged side effects, you should report them to your doctor.

OTC topical medicines are somewhat effective in treating acne when used regularly; however, it may take up to 8 weeks before you see noticeable improvement.

 

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