OTC Acne Pills: 7 Do's and Don'ts

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If you’ve had to deal with acne for most of your life, you’ve probably tried anything and everything to get rid of them. From medicated cleansers and spot treatments to unconventional home remedies, there’s really no shortage of acne solutions out there. But for stubborn pimples, one treatment you may want to consider is taking an OTC (over the counter) acne pill.

Understandably, there may be some apprehension when taking any kind of medication but no worries. In this article, we’ll walk you through the do’s and don’ts when it comes to taking oral acne medication that you can get over the counter at your local drugstore.

What are acne pills?

Acne pills, or oral medication, are taken by mouth and they work from inside the body to help improve your skin. Also called systemic medications, some of these are taken once a day, others more often, or depending on the advice of your doctor.

These acne pills can also help treat acne that’s harder to reach with topical treatments, such as the back or shoulders. Oral medication can work from the inside to get rid of deep blemishes, regardless of where they are in your body.

Acne medication can be an option for those who have stubborn acne but isn’t necessarily severe. Often, it is taken on top of your regular anti-acne skincare routine for a more holistic approach.

OTC acne pills: the do’s and dont’s

One must always exercise caution when taking any type of medicine and that includes over-the-counter pills for acne. Here, we break down what you should be doing-- and what you shouldn’t.


Talk to your doctor or dermatologist.

Some of the more popular acne medications such as birth control pills or isotretinoin require prescriptions while over-the-counter medications, as the name implies, do not. However, it is still recommended that you discuss with your dermatologist or health professional first, especially if you’re taking medication for other conditions.

Be thorough with your research.

The Internet is a handy tool, so don’t be afraid to use it to learn more about the acne pills you’re considering. Check out the ingredients list and find out what each one is for. You can also comb through reviews from people who have tried them, though you may need to take these with a grain of salt as results differ from one person to another. As the popular saying in the skincare community goes: YMMV (your mileage may vary). However, this can be very useful when discussing treatment options with your doctor, so don’t be afraid to bring notes and ask questions.

Take medication as instructed.

To get optimal results from any medication, you have to take it as indicated. For example, if you’re taking Lactoferrin + d-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate + Zinc (Lactezin), you need to stick to taking it twice daily to see visible results.

Be patient with your routine.

In the case of topical skincare, products take at least 4 weeks of regular use before you see results. The same principle applies to acne pills. Take it correctly for at least 2 weeks. In the case of Lactoferrin + d-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate + Zinc (Lactezin), best results are seen in 8 to 12 weeks.

Also, you may experience purging (the appearance of more pimples) while taking acne medication like Lactezin. Based on clinical studies, there are cases where pimples appear in the first 2 weeks but will eventually disappear and improve within 8 to 12 weeks duration. To prevent a recurrence, continue to take 2 capsules daily for maintenance.


Don’t skip on your skincare routine.

OTC acne medication and topical treatments often go better hand in hand, so don’t slack on your regular routine just because you’re taking pills. Besides, it’s always good to take care of your skin from both inside and outside.

Don’t underestimate the benefits of a healthy lifestyle for your skin.

Our daily habits also play a big part in keeping our skin healthy and acne-free. On top of your skincare routine and acne meds, be sure you’re eating healthy, staying active, maintaining good sleeping habits, and watching your stress levels. (Read: How to Identify and Prevent Stress Acne)

Don’t just stop taking it once you see results.

In some instances, your skin may clear up earlier than expected but don’t take this as a sign to drop your routine altogether. Continue with your medication as advised to prevent possible reoccurrence of acne.

How to take Lactezin for acne

An example of an OTC acne pill available in the market is Lactoferrin + d-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate + Zinc (Lactezin), which has been shown to help treat acne and give clearer skin from the inside. It is a clinically-tested over-the-counter drug with a breakthrough formulation of Lactoferrin, Vitamin E, and Zinc to help lessen pimples and give clearer skin in as early as 2 weeks (when taken twice daily).

It is recommended that you take Lactezin, twice a day, one in the morning and one at night. Clinical studies show that results may be visible in as early as 2 weeks (with proper use), while best results are seen in 8 to 12 weeks. Visit our FAQs to learn more about how to take Lactezin properly.





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