Do Acne Treatment Products Work?

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More often than not, it feels like a losing cause, as most over-the-counter acne treatment products prove to be ineffective at providing a long-term solution for particularly troublesome cases. So what can you do to clear up your face once and for all?

There are a couple of different options that go beyond acne treatment products like Clearasil, Oxy, and Proactiv. The first involves seeing a dermatologist. I know many people try to avoid this, either because their insurance doesn’t cover such visits or because they think they can’t afford the consultation. But I think you’ll be surprised at how affordable some dermatologists are, even without insurance. For instance, there’s a clinic near my home that accepts walk-in patients for a $59 consultation fee. That’s not bad at all, especially when you’ll be getting a diagnosis from a trained medical professional who will then recommend prescription acne treatment products for you.

Some typical prescription acne treatment products include topical creams such as Differin (Adapalene) and Clindamycin. Differin is a retinoid, while Clindamycin is an antibiotic. Both of these topical creams are far more effective at clearing up problem skin than treatments you would find on the shelves at your local beauty supply store. Antibiotics in particular are important for a clear skin regimen because they help fight bacteria that cause pimples. Your dermatologist might even give you oral antibiotics to take as part of your regimen, and those have received positive results as well.

Another alternative to OTC acne treatment products is something called blue light therapy. This method involves exposing your face to a special high-intensity light source to zap bacteria and clear up your skin. The light is not UV light, and thus far doesn’t have any detrimental side effects. (It should be noted, however, that this is a relatively new procedure, so there hasn’t been enough time to study long-term effects.) At any rate, many patients have responded well to blue light therapy, so it’s definitely something to consider.

There is a major drawback to blue light therapy versus more traditional acne treatment products, and that’s the cost. Blue light therapy requires a series of treatments, which, depending on the severity of the problem, can cost more than $1,000 before all is said and done. That price is pretty steep, but then again, if you’ve got the money, then it might be worth a shot, especially if you can get rid of your pimples once and for all.

The bottom line here is that most of the acne treatment products you’re familiar with probably aren’t going to do very much to get your skin problems under control. If you’re troubled by stubborn, persistent pimples and blemishes, try one of the alternatives I mentioned above.

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