Antibiotics for Acne



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Prescription Antibiotics for Acne

 Whatever the different causes of acne may be, these can get infected and when not treated properly with antibiotics, could leave the skin scarred and marked as well as pose as a serious threat to health and body. If a dermatologist sees bacterial infection superimposing itself on the acne, the most obvious course of action would be to prescribe some form of antibiotic to kill the bacteria causing infection.

Antibiotics decrease the number of bacteria in around the follicle where the acne has popped up from. They reduce pus as well as the concentration of the sebum which triggered the inflammation.

Tetracycline is the first choice of antibiotics for acne with superimposed bacterial infection. These are normally taken on an empty stomach and compliance may be difficult for some teenagers who are normally hungry 24/7. These antibiotics are not given when the individual is pregnant or for children under 9.

Erythromycin is commonly used but they can cause stomach pains. It is anti-inflammatory and reduces scarring on top of killing the bacteria. This is a safe drug for pregnant women.

Minocyclines is a derivative of tetracycline. It has great fighting and killing power against pustular acne and can be taken in an empty or full stomach, unlike the tetracyclines. Major drawback is that it can cause dizziness, nausea, vomiting, skin pigmentation and yellowing of teeth, but these are rare cases.


Doxycyclines are the antibiotics of choice for people who cannot tolerate erythromycin and tetracycline. It is taken before meals and can cause nausea. However, again the nausea side-effect is rare and this does not increase sensitivity to the sun nor cause sunburns as when taking tetracyclines.

Clindamycin is a widely prescribed antibiotic, be it oral or topical. The major side-effect of diarrhea is minimal if not rare hence more dermatologists prescribe this in a topical solution form that is used to rub gently on the face and used in conjunction with a good cleansing habit. Effects are normally seen two or three days after application.

Overall, antibiotics are good medicines if following prescription. The tendency to self-medicate is a tempting but foolish course that can ruin the skin and the health. Continuous use of antibiotics without following the prescription can lead to drug resistance. When this occurs, the individual is only opening doors for untreatable infections that may need secondary medications like steroids or even oral retinoids.

A trip to the dermatologist will be educational and beneficial for anyone who wishes to treat their acne. This is especially important for familial acne which could lower the self-esteem of the child.

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