Acne treatment Acne treatment

Drugs for Acne

Drugs for Acne Drugs for Acne

Acne is a skin problem for many teens and adults. With breakouts and blemishes, the condition can be both a health issue and a social one. Many times, over-the-counter treatments will work for mild breakouts, but for people needing prescription medication to treat moderate to severe acne, there are several to choose from.


Adapalene is the general medicine marketed under the name Differin. According to, about 10 to 40 percent of people who use the product will experience side effects such as burning, itching, redness, dryness and scaling. While using adapalene, sunlight exposure should be restricted or limited. Adapalene works by hastening the buildup of skin cells in a follicle to lessen pore clogging. It is applied to the skin once a day in gel form.

Azelaic Acid

Azelaic acid is the formula that is marketed under the brand Azelex. It has 20 percent azelaic acid, which is found naturally in animal products and whole grains. reports 1 to 5 percent of people using azelaic acid will have the side effects of stinging, burning, itching or tingling of skin. It will work by killing bacteria and helping speed skin renewal. It is used on the skin twice a day with a cream base.

Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide is used in many over-the-counter formulas but is prescribed under brand names such as Brevoxyl and Triaz. It is an antibacterial that will dry the skin and promote peeling of dead skin speeding renewal. Side effects, according to, are skin inflammation or crusting of skin and occur in 3 percent of the users. It is available in gel, cream or washes.


Clindamycin is a generic drug marketed as Clinda-derm or Cleocin T. It is an antibiotic that will kill bacteria on the skin. Side effects such as dryness, peeling, itching, burning and redness are reported in 10 percent of users, according to It is put on the skin twice a day in gel, lotion or solution form.


Erythromycin is the generic form of the brand names of such acne medications as Staticin and Akne-Mycin. It is another antibiotic that kills bacteria and prevents its growth. There are side effects such as oiliness, redness, itching and dryness. This medication is used in the morning and in the evening and can be in solution, ointment or gel form.

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