Acne treatment Acne treatment

Antibotics to Treat Acne

Antibotics to Treat Acne Antibotics to Treat Acne

Antibiotics are an important element in an acne treatment program. An examination by a medical professional is necessary to determine appropriate therapy and methods of treatment, but both topical and oral antibiotics are typically used. Commonly prescribed antibiotics include clindamycin, the family of tetracycline drugs, and erythromycin.


Tetracycline, classified as a broad-spectrum antibiotic, reduces the concentrations of fatty acid and the inflammation that occur as a result of the acne infection. The drug requires several weeks to show results. Topical lotions or oral capsules are prescribed, depending on the type of acne and the needs of the individual patient. This antibiotic drug therapy requires months, and sometimes years, of treatment during the prime years of acne production. The drug manufacturer recommends limiting the use of the drug to six months of oral use and three months of topical application, to minimize drug resistance. Side effects include sun sensitivity.


Erythromycins are part of the first group of antibiotics used for acne, and as such, are not effective with a group of patients who have developed a resistance to the drug. Erythromycin works to suppress the fatty acid concentration and reduce skin inflammation, and is taken either as a topical lotion applied once or twice a day or as an oral medication. The drug results in serious side effects in some people, including yeast infections, sensitivity to sunshine, sunburn or heartburn.


Minocycline is a newer general-purpose, broad-spectrum antibiotic that works the same way as erythromycin and tetracycline. The side effects of the drug include dark pigmentation in acne scars, as well as in other scar tissue on the body unrelated to acne. Monitoring by both the user and medical professionals is recommended to avoid this side effect.


Clindamycin is used when other antibiotics are ineffective for acne treatment in patients who have developed a resistance to other general antibiotics, or who are allergic to other drug treatments. Clindamycin phosphate topical gel was approved in 2000 after clinical trials. It is available in a topical gel or lotion that is applied once or twice per day. Users should minimize their sun exposure due to increased risk of burning. Other side effects include extreme skin dryness that causes peeling or itching. Blood in the stool, diarrhea and colitis were also reported as side effects in clinical studies. Report any hint of these problems while taking the drug. Colitis conditions can be fatal in extreme cases.

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