Exploring Acne Treatment Options: What Your Pharmacy May Have to Offer

April 4, 2024

Acne is a common skin condition that affects people of all ages, causing not only physical discomfort but also impacting self-esteem and confidence. Fortunately, advancements in skincare have led to various effective treatments available over-the- counter and through prescription.

Most acne treatments work by eliminating acne-causing bacteria, exfoliating by removing oil and dead skins cells that may clog pores, and reducing inflammation caused by acne.

If you’re seeking solutions for acne, Pace Pharmacy might just be the place to find what you need.

Over-the-Counter Ingredients

There are a range of over-the-counter products containing ingredients that can be used to treat your skin. These are typically found as cleansers, creams, gels, and spot treatments. Ask your pharmacist for input on which products may be most suitable for your skin type.

Benzoyl Peroxide: Benzoyl peroxide is found in many over-the-counter acne treatments. It works by killing acne-causing bacteria, as well as exfoliating the skin, making it easier to wash away pore-clogging dirt and oil. One thing to be aware of with benzol peroxide is that it acts as a bleach so may cause discolouration of fabric like bedding, clothing and towels if they come into contact.

Salicylic Acid: Salicylic acid is an ingredient often included in facial cleansers. It works by exfoliating the skin, unclogging pores, and reducing inflammation.

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA): This category of ingredients includes glycolic acid and lactic acid.  They work by removing the top layer of dead skin cells. This helps unclog pores and reduces the chances of newly clogged pores.

Topical Retinoids: Derived from vitamin A, retinoids work by promoting cell turnover, preventing the formation of clogged pores, and reducing inflammation.

Sulfur: Sulfur is often combined with other ingredients. It can be used to remove excess oil and dead skin cells that can clog pores, therefore preventing breakouts. Beware the rotten egg smell though!

Prescription Acne Medications

Those with severe or persistent acne may not achieve the desired results with over-the-counter options. There are stronger medications that your healthcare provider can prescribe. A consult with your doctor or dermatologist may be necessary for a prescription, however some pharmacists may also be able to prescribe certain topical treatments. Your pharmacist can also provide valuable information and guidance if you’ve been prescribed any of these treatments.

Prescription Strength Topicals: Many ingredients found in over-the-counter treatments can be obtained in a higher strength with a prescription. One of the benefits of a compounding pharmacy is that they can work with your healthcare provider to create a compound specifically tailored to your skin. This may include a specific combination of ingredients and higher strengths than those available in commercial products.

Oral Medications: Commonly prescribed oral medications for acne may include oral antibiotics, hormonal treatments (such as birth control pills for females), or isotretinoin (Accutane).

Topical Antibiotics: Antibiotics like clindamycin and sulfacetamide can be prescribed in a formula that can be directly applied to the skin. They work to eliminate bacteria and reduce redness associated with acne.

Where to go for Acne Treatment

Before starting any new acne treatment regimen, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional or dermatologist, especially if you have sensitive skin or existing medical conditions. They can help determine the most suitable products for your skin type and severity of acne, as well as provide personalized recommendations for your skincare routine. They can also make you aware of ingredients to avoid if you have acne and common side effects of treatments such as dryness and sun sensitivity.

Canadian pharmacies offer a range of acne treatment options, from over-the-counter products to prescription medications. Whether you’re dealing with occasional breakouts or persistent acne, there are solutions available to help you achieve clearer, healthier skin. Remember to be patient and consistent with your skincare routine, and don’t hesitate to seek professional advice if needed.

Contact us to consult with one of our pharmacists today.

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