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Medications for Acne Vulgaris

Medications for Acne Vulgaris Medications for Acne Vulgaris Medications for Acne Vulgaris

Acne vulgaris is the most common form of acne. Usually beginning during puberty, acne vulgaris can cause pimples, whiteheads and blackheads that can be problematic for the sufferer's self-esteem and social life. However, there are various medications that your physician can prescribe to treat this skin condition.


Tretinoin gel and tretinoin cream are topical medications used to treat acne. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, tretinoin stops the development of new acne lesions and encourages healing by enhancing cell turnover, which in turn unplugs pimples. You should notice a difference within two to three weeks of using tretinoin. However, watch out for potential side effects such as reddened skin, blistered or even peeling. Any side effects should be immediately reported to the physician.


Doxycycline is an oral antibiotic, and can be used on patients who have recurrent acne that is hard to treat. According to, this medication works in the bloodstream to slow the growth of bacteria in the body. Avoid sunlight while on this medication, as it makes your skin sensitive to UV rays. Potential side effects to be reported to your doctor include headaches, dizziness and blurred vision.

Erythromycin and Benzoyl Peroxide

Erythromycin, in combination with benzoyl peroxide, is a topical antibiotic. According to, it is a strong antibiotic that helps to kill the acne-causing bacteria on the face. People with stubborn or severe acne may have more luck with this type of treatment because of the combination of medications, and should see signs of healing within the first two weeks of use. Continued use can lead to a full recovery from acne vulgaris. Note that a potential side effect of this medication is a hypersensitivity that may cause a skin rash. If this occurs, immediately report it to your physician.

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