Salicylic acid is one of the most common over-the-counter medications used to treat acne. Salicylic acid is available in many formulations, including cleansers and spot treatment creams, at concentrations up to 2%. Dr. Schweiger explains that, “Salicylic acid helps remove dead skin cells from the skin, which prevents clogged pores that can attract acne bacteria.”
Salicylic acid is not the only effective over-the-counter acne medication. Benzoyl peroxide, sulfur, tea tree oil, glycolic acid, and retinol can play an important role in the treatment of acne. However, as effective as over-the-counter medications can be in the treatment of acne, it is important to see a dermatologist for acne that does not respond quickly. When left untreated, acne can cause permanent scarring.
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