Over The Counter Acne Products: Dangers, Risks & Side Effects


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As these products are sold over-the-counter, without a prescription, they are very safe indeed. The side effects are almost entirely short lived and non-serious. Most of side effects are product specific but there are some general warning to take heed of before making use of any product. The most important thing to bear in mind is that some of the ingredients in acne treatments can cause allergic reactions. Although it would be very unusual to experience such a reaction it is better to be safe than sorry. It is, therefore, extremely important that you take precautions to avoid suffering a serious allergic reaction. You can easily do this by performing a small skin test a day or two before using the product properly. Apply a small amount of the product to a small patch of skin and leave it to make sure it does not cause any swelling or show signs of an adverse reaction.

Side Effects of Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl Peroxide is the ingredient with the highest chance of causing an allergic reaction. It is also likely to cause your skin to become dry and to peel. Unfortunately this is a fairly unavoidable side effect as the cause of the unwanted peeling effect is also the reason that the bacteria are destroyed.

Another side effect of Benzoyl Peroxide is that is can bleach you hair and your clothes. Yu must be particularly careful when applying products containing this ingredient so as not to damage either. The potency of it also bodes badly for your eyes. Take especial care to avoid the eye area when applying the treatment. Always read the instructions thoroughly before using a new product.

Side Effects of Salicylic Acid

Salicylic Acid is said to cause some discomfort when it is applied, though it should be no more that a temporary stinging sensation. It also causes the skin to peel. You should avoid using products containing Salicylic Acid alongside any other product as the combination can react badly and cause your skin to become irritated.

Side Effects of Sulphur

Sulphur is a particularly smelly ingredient and can discolour your skin, though this does not always happen and is not normally noticeable. Most products do not only use sulphur so most of the side effects of the sulphur are masked. It is probable, however, that you will experience some flaking and redness of the skin after using a sulphur based product.

Side Effects of Resorcinol

Like Sulphur Resorcinol is not really used on its own to treat acne. Instead it is combined with other ingredients to help break down blackheads and whiteheads. Side effects of products containing resorcinol include: redness, flaking and some irritation of the skin. It is also unwise to combine products including Resorcinol with other products, especially those that contain alcohol like many brands of face wipe. This is because used together your skin can become even more irritated and the side effects more pronounced.


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