Possible Side Effects of Acne Treatments

11 Feb

For those with acne, the willingness to try anything for clear skin is not uncommon. From crazy home remedies to pharmaceutical grade treatments, if the product is not natural, there is increased risk for potential side effects. For example, allergic hypersensitivity to over the counter acne remedies occurs more than one would think. Allergies to gels, lotions, face washes, solutions, and cleansing pads can be severe. With symptoms like throat tightness, shortness of breath, wheezing, changes in blood pressure, hives, itching, and swelling – consumers should consult a healthcare professional immediately after symptoms arise.

Prescription acne medications can be just as risky. Isotretinoin, an oral drug used for the treatment and prevention of severe acne, causes side effects like dry skin, itching, dry nose, nose bleeds, dry mouth, and inflammation of the whites of eyes. The use of this drug has also been linked to inflammation of the pancreas, headache, vision changes, ringing in the ears, hearing loss, chest pain, dark urine, severe diarrhea, and rectal bleeding. Although these more severe side effects are infrequent, they are still risks to consider before starting the drug.

Perhaps one of the most common topical treatments found in most over the counter creams, washes, and lotions, is benzoyl peroxide. For consumers with sensitive skin, benzoyl peroxide may cause painful irritation of the skin, burning, blistering, crusting, itching, severe redness, and swelling. Benzoyl peroxide can cause topical side effects, making the skin hypersensitive to sunlight and other environmental factors.

One of the newer remedies for severe acne, especially scarring, is laser therapy. Usually used in combination with other types of treatment, laser therapy sometimes helps those who have tried everything else. However, results of laser therapy are unpredictable. Furthermore, it’s typical for the consumer to need several treatments, which means laser therapy can get pretty costly. Insurance usually does not cover the costs, and results tend to be only temporary – as the use of acne medicine after laser treatment is often needed. Topical side effects may occur, such as redness, inflammation, peeling, and swelling. Some experience skin pigmentation changes, which can either cause lightening or darkening of the skin, as well as bruising, and demarcation lines where the laser was applied.

Chemical peels are another way that acne suffers may try to obtain relief. As most people know, chemical peels can cause some pretty severe side effects. Redness, scarring, peeling, changes in skin color, and infection are all risks of chemical peels. Deep chemical peels that use carbolic acid can even damage the heart, kidneys, and liver. It’s important for the consumer to be aware what type of chemical peel they are receiving, and to weigh the pros and cons with a healthcare professional.

As with any other treatment, it seems as though any hope for effective results comes with risk. However, the use of systemic enzymes and digestive enzymes have brought fantastic results to many acne suffers – without harmful side effects. As an all natural treatment, supplemental enzymes help to restore digestive and immune balance without topical side effects. Acne is often caused by digestive issues that manifest through the skin, and this is why people who “eat clean” often see significant results in their skin after a few weeks. Supplemental enzymes are often overlooked because they are not on consumer radar for the treatment of acne. However, there are clinical studies that support the use of enzymes in acne treatment, and as a non-risk route of therapy, there is nothing to lose (except acne!).


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