Afflicting 17 million people throughout the United States, acne is a common ailment. Its prevalence doesn’t mean that it isn’t a serious issue, however. Causing permanent scarring, irritation, and discomfort, the acne is notorious for the negative impact that it has on individuals’ quality of life. Topical treatments however can offer relief for mild to moderate cases of acne.
As a relatively mild skin care option derived from willow trees, salicylic acic removes dead skin to allow a new, clean layer to grow in its place. It is often found in acne cleansers that you could buy in the drugstore, such as Noxzema.
If your acne continues to worsen, benzoyl peroxide is a popular topical prescription that has a proven success rate for acne treatment. Studies have found that the ingredient effectively reduces acne by approximately 58% in twelve weeks. Benzoyl peroxide essentially strips the skin of oils to “dry out” acne.
There are, however, some negative side-effects to consider when using benzoyl peroxide. Often, use of benzoyl peroxide leads to over-drying, irritation, and sensitivity. If the topical cream is over-applied, these impacts are heightened, so it’s important to discuss the proper dosage with your physician. Two common benzoyl peroxide acne treatments are Brevoxyl-4 and Triaz Top.
Azelaic acid is another topical option. It works in two ways: first, it kills the bacteria that clog pores, and second, it decreases keratin production, which is often an agent of acne. It is proven to be as effective as benzoyl peroxide for acne treatment, though it takes about eight weeks before your skin will see any results.
All of these treatments are only effective if they are used regularly. If you discontinue your regimen, there’s a high chance that your acne will turn up again. You can often choose medication that has a set concentration of the substance (2.5, 5, or 10% for benzoyl peroxide, for example) and reduce the concentration slowly as your condition improves.
With a consistent topical treatment, you can reduce – and, ultimately eliminate – acne. As always, be sure to first speak with your physician to determine which option is best for you to relieve yourself of the discomfort and irritation of acne, once and for all.
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