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What are the side effects of over-the-counter acne medications?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Any acne medication -- those available over the counter (OTC) or by prescription -- can have side effects. Most OTC acne treatments work by reducing skin bacteria and removing dead skin cells. In doing so, the treatment helps prevent pimples. Some OTC acne medications are effective in treating acne, yet are extremely drying and can irritate the skin. Irritated skin may trigger a breakout. Before using any acne medication, it's important to read the label and follow the instruction of a dermatologist, a doctor who specializes in treating skin, hair, and nail conditions.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.