Oral Acne Solutions
Your dermatologist may prescribe an oral acne medication if you have moderate to severe acne. According to MayoClinic.com, it may take up to eight weeks to see noticeable results and your acne may get worse before it improves. Dermatologists may combine topical and oral medications to get acne under control.
Isotretinoin, also known as Accutane, is an oral retinoid medication prescribed for those who suffer from acne. Isotretinoin is a potent medication and doctors usually prescribe this when other treatments have failed, according to MayoClinic.com. The American Academy of Dermatology states that this type of medication is typically reserved for the most severe cases of acne.
In cases of moderate to severe acne, a prescription of oral antibiotics may help reduce bacteria and combat inflammation. MayoClinic.com notes that since oral antibiotics were first introduced to treat acne, more patients have became resistant to these types of antibiotics. Using topical benzoyl peroxide in addition to antibiotics may reduce resistance to the medication. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the four types of antibiotics that may be used to treat acne are tetracycline, erythromycin, doxycycline and minocycline.
For women, oral contraceptives can help treat acne. Birth control pills with a combination of norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol are most effective at treating acne, according to MayoClinic.com. MayoClinic.com also notes that Ortho-Cyclen and Ortho-Tri-Cyclen both contain the proper combination of hormones to help control sebaceous glands. The American Academy of Dermatology states that birth control pills can also be used as a long-term therapy for acne.
Isotretinoin has dangerous side effects, according to MayoClinic.com and the American Academy of Dermatology. The Mayo Clinic states that patients taking isotretinoin need to be closely monitored by their physician. Isotretinoin side effects include suicidal thoughts, depression, itching, dry eyes and nose bleeds. Oral antibiotics include risks such as dizziness, upset stomach, skin discoloration and may effect your sensitivity to the sun. Oral contraceptives may cause risks such as high blood pressure, heart disease and blood clots.
Oral acne treatments may not always be the appropriate solution. Your dermatologist may prescribe combination therapy or it may take several attempts of different oral medications to find the one that works best for you. In the most severe forms of acne, your dermatologist may need to perform in-office procedures such as punch excision or interlesional corticosteroid injections, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Other treatment options may be considered such as chemical peels, microdermabrasion or laser and light therapy treatments.
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