A reader asked me the other day if I had any information about Accutane. I've never had any personal experience with this medication, so I did a little research and what I found was more negative, than positive. Accutane, a medication taken orally, has been often prescribed by dermatologists for a few years now, to treat moderate to severe acne. Although, it is probably warranted in some cases, newer studies reveal that it is probably over prescribed and, considering the numerous side effects, should probably be the last option in treating acne. Acne has been described as the skin's inability to peel itself, trapping oil and dirt underlayers of dead skin cells. As a result, continuous breakouts occur on the face, neck and sometimes back area. However, there is much more to choose from in the way of treatments. The active ingredient, Benzoyl Peroxide, was introduced some years ago, as a treatment for acne (usually 5% in over-the-counter treatment). Although, this has been found effective, this alone cannot do the job. Products containing Salicylic Acid are very popular now and can be found in many over-the-counter treatments, including Proactiv. Another ingredient found to help fight and stave off acne is glycolic acid. This used in combination with products containing Salicylic Acid work wonders in helping the skin to peel itself in order to properly remove all oil and dirt to prevent breakouts. Neutrogena is always adding new products to their acne line. These products are affordable and easily accessible and include a line of foundation with Salicylic Acid for women. One of my favorite product lines is from Serious Skin Care, which can be found on Home Shopping and in Ulta (www.hsn.com and www.ulta.com). They have a complete acne line called Continuously Clear which includes their moisturizer, which helps to keep skin from becoming too dry, but will not clog skin pores. This product also contains Salicylic Acid. They also have a daily Glycolic Cleanser, which although is not part of the acne line, when used in conjunction with their acne treatments, can help clear up skin and keep it clear. Since I believe in a holistic approach to everything, it's important to eat a healthy, balanced diet and find ways to alleviate stress. Both diet and stress can be culprits in acne break out as well.