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Choosing the Right Prescription Drug to Treat Your Acne
Home remedies and over-the-counter creams and cleansers are two ways you can treat your acne. But if both of these methods have failed to give you the results you want, it might be time to see a doctor about getting a prescription drug. There is more than one type of prescription medication available for those suffering from acne, so you’ll have different options to explore if the first thing you try doesn’t work.
One category of treatments is retinoids. Retin-A is the most common prescription in this family of acne medications. It’s given to you in the form of a lotion, gel, or cream. Retin-A fights acne by increasing the speed at which skin sheds cells and loosening plugged up pores. Retinoids can help fade marks left on your skin from previous outbreaks.
Next, there are topical antibiotics. Also offered creams, lotions, and gels, this prescription drug is a bacteria fighter. It’s also available as an astringent.
Prescription creams applied to the skin itself aren’t the only types of acne treatments. Oral antibiotics fight acne both inside and out of your body. Expect to stay on these types of medication for up to three years, and it may take several months before you’ll see results.
One prescription drug for acne that you’ve probably already heard of is Accutane. Accutane is intended only for the most severe cases of acne. Because it’s a powerful drug, it has powerful side effects. People on Accutane must get periodic blood tests. For men and women, these tests check your blood fat levels. These tests are also needed to recognize pregnancy as soon as possible. Accutane has been associated with some types of birth defects, so getting off of the medicine quickly is essential for the health of your child. In addition to the cost of the drug itself, these blood tests, and prescription birth control if you’re a woman, are an extra 0 a month in expenses.
At first, all these different options might make it seem difficult to select the right acne treatment. Your dermatologist can help you choose the prescription that’s going to work best for you. The proper medication will depend on whether your acne is hereditary, how severe your outbreaks are, your goals for the treatment (prevent outbreaks, reduce scarring, etc), and your preferred method of taking medication (pill vs. lotion). Also, be sure your doctor knows any skin sensitivities you have or allergic reactions you’ve had to medications in the past.
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