Acne Medicine – An Overview

Did you know that over 180,000 people search for information on acne everyday, out of which 77,000 want to know more about acne medicine? And that there are over 22 million sites talking about acne, and acne medicine, treatment and products? This tells me a few things. One, there are many people out there suffering from acne, and they are interested in knowing what kind of acne medicine is available to help them cure their problem. Equally, there are millions of available acne treatments and products out there. Obviously, no one acne medicine is suitable for any one person then.

First, a quick review on what acne is. It is what the caller calls "pimples" or "zits". There are different forms of acne, and all can occur at the same time, though one stage does not need to progress to the next. There are comedones, or blackheads and whiteheads, as they are usually called. Then there are acne spots caused by bacteria, leading to inflammation, resulting in a red potentially painling called a papule. If the papule does not subside spontaneously, a pustule may form. This heals by discharging pus. A severe enough reaction may cause a lot of deep damage, leaving behind scars.

Acne medicine has different purposes. There is acne medicine to prevent acne. There is a medicine to prevent infection of the acne. And there is medicine to prevent scarring from the acne. Finally, there is medicine to minimize the effects of acne scarring, should scars form.

Acne medicine can be divided into those that are applied to the skin – called topical acne medicine, and those that are taken orally – called systemic medicine.

Topical treatments come in the form of creams and lotions. There are two main types of topical acne medicine. The keratolytics, which act by peeling off the top horny outer layer of the skin, so helping to dislodge the comedones (blackheads and whiteheads), and the antiseptics, which attempt to get rid of harmful bacterial action. Examples of keratolytic acne medicine include benzyl peroxide, Retin A, and sulphur. Examples of antispetic acne medicine include iodine (eg Betadine), chlorhexidine, zinc salts, which are frequently incorporated into acne creams and lotions, azelaic acid.

One of the main problems with topical acne medicine is that they can be rather harsh. They can cause skin irritation and inflammation. Some, like retin A can not be used during pregnancy. Sulfur containing acne medicines can be extremely smelly, like rotton eggs!

Generally topical acne medicines work well for those with mild acne. A good number can be simply bought over-the-counter without the need of a doctor's prescription. And for many, this may be the only treatment required for acne.

Please visit http://www.acnemed.info for more information on topics related to acne medicine and the treatment of acne. Do add in some of the questions you may have so I can put up relevant information that others are interested in.