Guidelines for Common Home Acne Treatments

Chemical formula for Salicylic Acid

Chemical formula for Salicylic Acid

There are many types of home treatments available for acne, but these treatments often come in different concentrations and forms. This article provides the recommended guidelines for product concentration and what you can expect from different concentrations and forms.

Salicylic acid has a large variety of concentrations. While standard acne treatment products contain 1-2% concentration of this product, it can be found in ranges anywhere from .5% to 3%. Products in the 1-2% range are most commonly found in cleansers and face washes and are generally recommended for acne treatment. While some lotions and topical treatments can be “rubbed in”, this is likely to cause skin irritation, so most formulations are of the wash off variety.

Solutions of salicylic acid concentrated to 3% should never be left on the skin without ultimately being washed off. These are typically used as “chemical peels”. These are typically timed, so be sure to follow the instructions on the box. This can help reduce acne but also will likely cause the entire top layer of skin to peel off in a few days, not unlike a sunburn. The hope is that the new layer of skin that forms in its place will be clearer and smoother. Failure to wash off the chemical peel in time may result in more serious skin irritation and burning.

Benzoyl peroxide is an effective acne treatment that comes in 2.5%-10% concentrations. There are both rub-in and wash-off varieties that all fit within this concentration range. There is no difference here like there is with salicylic acid between concentrations and rub-in and wash-off varieties. Rub-in concentrations are likely to produce a greater effect than wash-off varieties but are also more likely to irritate the skin.

The concentration of benzoyl peroxide is important. Recent research suggests that the lower concentrations may be just as effective as the higher concentrations but also have lower incidences of the common side effects of skin irritation and dryness. It may be wise to choose a concentration under 5% to help avoid these unpleasant side effects, as it may be just as effective as the higher concentrations at fighting acne.

For natural remedies and treatments, there are no real established guidelines, as very little research has been performed on these natural remedies in order for such a procedure to be established. The initial research on these remedies is just trying to determine whether or not they are effective. Once efficacy has been established, further research can be done to come up with guidelines for their use.

Guidelines for prescription medication should be determined by your doctor. A lot of factors such as age, weight, acne severity, results of blood tests, and other prescription medications you may be taking may influence the treatment choice and dosage amount that your doctor chooses for your acne medication.

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