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Best Acne Solutions - Do They Exist?

...Look before you choose

Considering the wide reach that acne enjoys, it is hardly a surprise that even a random market survey of acne solutions will throw up an eye-popping number, so it is vital that you keep your head while hunting for acne solutions. Remember two things: what worked for your sister may not work for you, and consulting a skincare expert or a dermatologist is always wise before you begin using an acne solution, no matter how reliable the word of mouth.

For those with mild acne, homemade (and therefore natural) acne solutions such as those that contain tea tree oil are a good option. Besides, natural acne solutions are mostly about prevention rather than treatment, and as far as acne is concerned, prevention is the best treatment of all. So a proper diet incorporating plenty of raw fruits and vegetables (for vitamins and essential nutrients), adequate fluid intake, adequate exercise, and proper hygiene are all part of the natural solutions for acne.

The less fortunate

Sadly, there are people for whom it is too late to use preventive methods. So what do they do? Charlene Roche, a 27-year-old medical intern from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, swears by benzyl peroxide, quite often touted as a miracle cure for acne. While that description isn't quite accurate, it is undeniable that benzyl peroxide is part of innumerable acne solutions because it can be used as an antiseptic, an oxidizing agent or as an anti-inflammatory agent. Therefore, creams and lotions that contain benzyl peroxide - and can be freely bought over the counter - comprise a large part of the market for acne solutions.

Permanence is everything

However, neither benzyl peroxide nor its close ally salicylic acid (yet another acne must have) can be long-term solutions for acne, because they have to be regularly administered and acne outbursts resume as soon as you discontinue their use. So we are looking at a permanent cure to the problem here. And while some would suggest antibiotics as a long-term acne solution, I would say there is a risk for the acne-causing bacteria to develop a resistance to antibiotics, so there's a coda there.

For me, the acne solution that has been the answer to all my problems is the miraculous isotretinoin, marketed under such trade names as Accutane, Amnesteem, Claravis, Decutan, Isotane, Sotret, Oratane, and Roaccutane. Topical isotretinoin is most commonly marketed under the trade names Isotrex or Isotrexin.

Isotretinoin is a retinoid, which means it derives from Vitamin A and occurs in small quantities naturally in the body. It eliminates acne by working on the sebaceous glands and virtually cutting down the production of sebum to nil. Before the identification of isotretinoin in treating acne, doctors would use oral antibiotics such as tetracycline and erythromycin. However, while antibiotics are effective up to a point, they have gradually become less effective as antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria have evolved.

I took Accutane, but only after detailed and exhaustive consultation with my doctor. As dermatologist Dr Andrew Waite warns, "Isotretinoin can have severe adverse effects on certain groups of patients such as pregnant women and people undergoing treatment for depression." So while isotretinoin is a permanent acne solution, it is not for everybody.

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