Alternatives to Prescription Acne Medications

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Prescription medications are probably the most understood forms of acne treatment currently on the market. They have been in use for a comparatively long time and the number of different drugs with different effects is huge. However, if you have exhausted the long list of medications available to treat acne, or if you simply feel that prescription medications are not for you there are a few more options you can try.

If you suffer from mild-to-moderate acne you could try an optical therapy. These optical therapies are called light therapy and laser therapy. They work by exposing your acne to light and lasers that are thought to positively affect the circumstances in your skin. This is thought to reduce the amount of acne-causing bacteria present on the skin which is, in turn, thought to reduce your chances of developing more inflamed acne lesions. Light therapy also often uses an extra red light, which is thought to help your skin to heal. Light therapy can be done at home but neither therapy comes cheap. Another drawback is that the treatments can take up a lot of your time and effort and are not yet accepted by all doctors and scientists. In fact, many people believe that they simply do not work. Comparatively light therapy and laser therapy are often more expensive, more time consuming and less understood than prescription medicines. They are, however, far less dangerous and have far fewer unwanted effects upon your body.

If your acne is severe you could consider a more radical treatment. Chemical peeling works by applying a chemical solution to the affected area and allowing it to burn away layer of your skin. The theory is, once these layers have been removed, the new skin that grows to replace them will have fewer bacteria and healthier pores, not to mention fewer scars and fewer discolourations from your acne. Chemical peeling is far more drastic than prescription medication. It requires a recovery period and can be extremely painful with a large number of side effects. You could also risk permanent hyper- and hypopigmentation (darkening and lightening of the skin). It is also a somewhat expensive process. However, you could see positive results far sooner that with prescription medication and, if you have tried everything else, it could be a good last resort.

Of course if you feel like prescription medication is too serious a treatment for your acne, you can try over-the-counter products that come in the form of creams, washes, soaps and cleansers.

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