Video:Top Over-the-Counter Acne Treatmentswith Dr. Debra Jaliman
Treating acne can not only be overwhelming, but doesn't always require a prescription. Learn about some of the top over-the-counter treatments to alleviate acne in this dermatology video from About.com.See Transcript
Transcript:Top Over-the-Counter Acne Treatments
Hi, this is Dr. Debra Jaliman, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City and author of the book Skin Rules: Trade Secrets from a Top New York Dermatologist here to talk about the top acne treatments available over-the-counter for About.com.
Treating Acne with Benzoyl Peroxide
First, we have benzoyl peroxide, that's one of the first treatments available over the counter and the way benzoyl peroxide works is it brings oxygen to your skin. And the oxygen kills the p acne bacteria that's responsible for acne and that's called proprioni bacterium acne and that bacteria lives in an anarobic environment. What is that? That's an environment that doesn't allow oxygen. So if you add oxygen to the skin, it kills the bacteria the other way it works is it actually gets rid of the dead skin cells. And the dead skin cells help the bacteria live. So if you desclimate the dead skin cells and get them off the surface, that improves your acne.
Treating Acne with Salicylic Acid
Another very popular acne medication that we find over the counter is salicylic acid. Salicylic acid works by getting rid of dead skin cells on the surface. So it makes your skin much smoother. It actually unclogs the pores.
Treating Acne with Alpha-Glycolic Acid
Another very popular treatment that we find for acne is alpha-glycolic acid. Alpha hydroxy acids come in many different varieties and the most popular one that we find for acne is glycolic acid. Glycolic acid you can find in many formulations for acne. You can find it in pads, you can find it in toners, you can find it in gels. All of those are very good for acne, and the way they work is: they get the dead skin cells off the surface, making your skin much brighter and exfoliating it.
Treating Acne with Sulfur
Another common acne preparation that we find over the counter is sulfur, and the way sulfur works is it actually desclimates the cells. So it gets the dead skin cells off the surface of the skin and it also helps eliminate some of the acne bacteria, so it helps to keep the skin much clearer.
Treating Acne with Retinol
Retinol is a Vitamin A derivative, so retinol is related to the prescription medication, retinoids, that you may be familiar with. And the way that it works is it decreases the cohesiveness of the epidermal cells on the surface so it unclogs your pores and it speeds up the peeling of the skin.
So there are many different over-the-counter product choices that you have for acne. If you need any more information, go to About.com.