How Safe are Over The Counter Products for Acne?


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Over-the-counter acne products are very safe and unless you have a rare allergy to one of the main ingredients there is no reason that you should not try them. Whether or not the products work, the will leave you will not lasting damage. That said, of course, you do want to find the best and fastest treatment for your acne. It is possible that over-the-counter products will not be strong enough to really help you. In order to determine whether or not you could benefit from using these treatments you need to be able to decide whether you have mild-to-moderate or moderate-to-severe acne. If you have moderate-to-severe acne you will probably require something stronger than over-the-counter treatments.

The best way to tell if you have mild-to-moderate or moderate-to-severe acne is to ask your doctor or dermatologist. However, if you want to decide for yourself you can follow the following guidelines. Firstly, you should assess the extent of your acne. If you have a couple of ‘zits’ here or there your acne is probably mild. If you have some blackheads, whiteheads and a handful of lesions, some of which may be clustered together, you probably have a moderate strain of acne. If you have a large number of spots, in a number of clusters including blackheads and whiteheads, you are likely to be suffering from severe acne. The type of ‘spots’ you have can also give you a clue about the kind of acne you are experiencing. Look out for large, swollen, painful lumps called cysts. These are often an indication that your acne is severe.

Whether or not you are certain about the severity of your acne, it is a good idea to pay a visit to your doctor or dermatologist as your doctor or dermatologist will be able to tell you which over-the-counter products will work best for your specific type of acne and will be able to advise you about how best to care for your skin.

Using Over-the-counter Acne Products During Pregnancy

There have been very few studies into the effect of topical acne treatments on pregnant women and their unborn babies. For this reason, it is often recommended that you do not take the risk, whether or not any harm would come of it.

Benzoyl peroxide can be absorbed through the skin, though nobody really knows if it could affect an unborn child. It has been suggested, however, that it can get into breast milk and cause problems during the nursing period.

Salicylic Acid is possibly the most concerning substance for pregnant women. Make sure you discuss the risks with your doctor before using it while pregnant, especially if you use it in large quantities. No studies on its use on pregnant women have been conducted, though animal testing suggests it could possibly cause birth defects in large quantities. Though it can enter the break milk through the skin, no issues with breast feed have been reported.

Resorcinol can be absorbed though the mothers skin though it is thought not to cause birth defects in an unborn child. It can also enter a mother’s breast milk, though there have been no reports of problems being caused for young babies in this way.

Sulphur, on its own, is probably the safest of all the common over-the-counter acne treatments. It has not been shown to cause any problems for pregnant women or their children during pregnancy or breast-feeding.


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