If you've developed a bad case of acne, then the first thing you will probably do is find some medication to remove it. There are lots of different types of medication available, including drops, tablets, and lotions or creams to apply directly on the acne. It's easy to think that if one medication will work, then using a number of medications at the same time will work even quicker.
The problem with this approach is that there are dangers involved in acne medication. Many teenagers buy over the counter drugs because their friends recommend them, without really knowing what's in the medication. Using more than one medication at a time can lead to complications because the mixture might cause cross-reactions. It's possible that you might have an allergic reaction to an ingredient in a medication, but it you're taking more than one, it's hard to pinpoint which one has caused the problem. It's always better to go to your doctor and get a proper recommendation about what products you should use for your acne.
There are a number of different medications used for treating acne, with some more popular ones being benzoyl peroxide, isotretonoin, retinoids and antibiotics. If the acne sufferer is a female, she may be prescribed an oral contraceptive if the doctor believes the acne is hormonal.
Accutane is a very popular form of isotretonoin used in the treatment of acne. This medication works by unblocking the pores and at the same time helping to decrease the level of oil production in the body. It doesn't happen overnight, but research has shown that if you use Accutane over a period of 14 to 20 weeks, it can be highly effective in getting rid of acne. It also helps reduce the possibility of a relapse.
Having said that, a number of people using Accutane have observed side effects. These have included dryness of the skin, headaches and even nausea. Serious side effects are unlikely, but have been known to include the development of a corneal ulcer or night blindness. People have been known to suffer bouts of intense anxiety and depression. This has even developed to the point of users feeling suicidal. Others have suffered constant headaches and blurred vision, which can be an indicator of pseudotumor cerebri. If you're pregnant, then it's probably wise to avoid using Accutane, as birth defects have been noted in some babies whose mothers were using it to treat their acne.
Benzoyl Peroxide is a more recent development in the treatment of acne. It also has a number of possible side effects, including skin dryness and abrasions. If there is severe skin inflammation, then anti-bacterial drugs may be prescribed to help reduce it. The acne is reduced because the bacterial infection is inhibited from spreading. This is only a temporary solution, however. Even overuse of ointments can lead to irritated skin and an increase in breakouts.
If retinoids are recommended, they can be taken as tablets or applied to the skin through a topical cream. Retinoids kill damaged or injured dermal cells, and reduce the spread of acne that way. This helps to prevent further infection. Again, retinoids aren't recommended for pregnant women because of the risk of birth defects.
An oral contraceptive that is often prescribed for hormonal acne is Ortho Tri-Cyclen. Some women find, however, that it causes excessive bleeding, breast tenderness and mood wings. Excessive weight gain or loss has also been observed in some cases.
The bottom line with acne medication is that you need to remember that there are chemicals and ingredients involved that can cause side effects. That's why it's best to consult your doctor, and make sure you don't overdo the medications in case mixing them together is harmful.
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