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Over-The-Counter Acne Products vs. Prescription-Only Acne Medications

If you are one of the many people who suffer from acne on a regular basis, then you are probably also constantly searching for effective acne relief to help ease your discomfort. Not only can acne be physically painful, but it can also leave some emotional scars as well. Embarrassment, social withdrawal and depression may all result from acne, which is why it is important to locate quality acne products that are both safe and effective.

When it comes to acne relief, there are both prescription-only and over-the-counter products available to sufferers. Typically, over-the-counter products are more affordable and can often be just as effective as prescription-only acne medications. However, it is often necessary to seek medical attention if acne worsens or fails to respond to conventional acne products. When this occurs, a more aggressive relief approach may be needed. The main goal is to determine which category you fall into and when, if ever, it's time to seek medical help.

Currently, a number of over-the-counter acne products line retail store shelves. Some of the most popular are those that contain a natural ingredient known as aloe vera, which is known for its healing effects, gentleness and soothing ability. This ingredient is thought to expedite the healing process and is, therefore, a very common ingredient in over-the-counter acne products.

Although acne formulas featuring aloe vera are widely available at local retail stores, they should be used with a certain degree of knowledge and care. For instance, aloe vera acne products are not recommended for the relief of infected or severe acne breakouts. The main reason for this is because it is unadvisable to apply any type of lotion to a deep or infected area without medical consultation.

Speaking of medical consultations, severe acne breakouts are often handled with Accutane, which is a powerful prescription-only medication that is commonly sought when all other methods of acne relief have failed. Although some users may find that their skin actually worsens in the beginning of the Accutane acne program, this typically subsides within four weeks. The entire program typically takes between 4-6 months and has been used by more than two million acne sufferers.

Although Accutane can be effective in relieving acne under proper, medically-supervised conditions, it is not without risk. Among the potential side effects are depression, birth defects, headaches, thinning hair, nosebleeds, dry skin, and joint or muscle pain. A high cost, combined with potentially dangerous side effects, have forced most acne sufferers and physicians to use Accutane only as a last resort. With that being said, many acne sufferers have succeeded with Accutane where other acne products had previously failed.

When selecting acne relief, it is essential that you understand both the benefits and risks of use. Any medication can have the potential for dangerous side effects. A little research, a lot of knowledge and some patience will prove to be a great asset in selecting both safe and effective acne products.

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