Written by Doris Donnerman (last updated October 19, 2020)
No one wants to have to deal with acne, but most of us have had to at least at some point in our lives. Sometimes washing your face with soap and water isn't enough. Even if you are watching what you eat and living a healthy lifestyle, you just need more help to get your acne to go away.
There are many kinds of acne medicine available—taking a walk in your local drug store will attest to that. But how do you know which will work best for you? Ideally, you could try different brands out to see what helps your face the best. However, that can take a lot of time and money.
One factor that should help you decide which kind of acne medicine you need is what type of acne you are dealing with. Do you just have the occasional obnoxious pimple, or is your whole face covered and red? A pimple now and then should not cause you any alarm, especially if you are in your teen years or your body is dealing with changing hormones (such as during pregnancy or before menopause). You should be able to fix the problem with a topical acne cream, which can be found at most drug stores or grocery stores. You just apply these creams or gels right on the spot, which will help to avoid drying out the rest of your face. Try using one with Benzoyl peroxide if you are still having trouble.
If you are dealing with more than just the occasional pimple, you probably need stronger medicine. Look for medicines that contain Benzoyl peroxide or Salicylic acid. Some medicines that continually receive good reviews are ProActiv, retin-a, and Accutane (which is only available with a prescription). Use the internet to research specific medicines. Many websites have personal reviews, which should help guide you to the medications that will work best for you.
It is important that you are practicing good hygiene habits as you are trying out different medications. However, make sure that you are not washing your face or applying medicine too often. You may be drying out your face so much that it is producing even more oil to compensate.
If you are still having problems with your acne, go to a dermatologist. Dermatologists have specific training on getting rid of acne, and they will be able to prescribe medications that you would not be able to get over the counter.
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