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Is over-the-counter skincare safe?

Common skin issues such as eczema and acne are seen by our dermatological team at Keys Dermatology on a daily basis. While there are many over-the-counter remedies for patients to choose from, a visit to the dermatologist can often result in a stronger, more effective treatment. Over-the-counter products are tested for safety, but are they really as effective as prescription skincare products recommended by a dermatologist?

Over-the-counter skincare products

Skincare products that are available over-the-counter at local drugstores are vastly different from products that are prescribed by a dermatologist or primary care physician. Over-the-counter skincare products do not require a prescription, which makes them more readily accessible without the advice of a doctor. However, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) still controls and regulates the manufacturing, marketing, and distribution of these products, which limits them in the ingredient strengths that can be provided without a prescription.

Prescription skincare products

On the flip side, prescription skincare products can be stronger and more effective because they are considered drugs or “pharmaceuticals.” They are designed to treat medical conditions and are stronger and more effective. The FDA still regulates these products to ensure they are safe, running them through strict clinical trials before they can ever be sold as a prescription medication. This is why prescription products are costlier than over-the-counter products—but often work more effectively in the long-run. The ingredient strengths in these skincare items are much stronger, making them key in managing many conditions, including acne, eczema, and more!

Which is best?

Because of the stronger strengths and the medical nature of prescription skincare products, many of these are far more effective in helping patients than over-the-counter products. We see many patients at Keys Dermatology who have become frustrated at the lack of treatment provided by drugstore offerings, and help by providing prescription strength products that will work better, faster, and more effectively than the products available to the general public.

Learn more about products available over-the-counter that can help in controlling common skin concerns

Contact Keys Dermatology by calling (305) 664-8828 and requesting an appointment with Drs. Darel Pruett and George VonHilsheimer. With several locations throughout the areas of Key West and Islamorada, Florida, patients can enjoy quality care at their convenience!

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