Oral Antibiotic for Acne
A variety of products are used to treat acne, from over-the-counter medications to prescription-strength medications. Oral biotics are also known as systemic medications and are used to treat acne if it's caused by bacteria.
Bacteria can form on top of your skin or within your body. For bacteria found on your skin, your dermatologist will prescribe a topical antibiotic for application to infected areas, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. For internal bacterial infections, your dermatologist can prescribe an oral antibiotic.
Your dermatologist can perform tests to determine which type of infection you have. According to EverythingAcne.com, oral antibiotics can aid in reducing inflammation as well as treating a bacterial infection.
There are different types of oral antibiotics for acne. EverythingAcne.com reports that the names the most commonly used as oral antibiotics are minocycline, doxycycline, tetracycline and erythromycin. The American Academy of Family Physicians also names isotretinoin, or Accutane, as another type.
There are potential side effects when taking oral antibiotics. According to EverythingAcne.com, common side effects include upset stomach, nausea, heartburn and vomiting. Doxycycline and minocycline cause photosensitivity; therefore, sun exposure should be limited. Erythromycin does not cause photosensitivity.
EverythingAcne.com advises that pregnant women speak to their health care provider prior to taking any medications. The Mayo Clinic states that patients using oral antibiotics long-term may build up a tolerance to antibiotics, so the drugs may not work as effectively as they should. Additionally, oral antibiotics may cause birth control pills not to work as efficiently.
There is no quick cure for acne. Antibiotics take time to work effectively. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians or AAFP, certain antibiotics may begin to work in as little as two weeks, while others may take longer. You may be tempted to quit taking your antibiotics once your acne has started to diminish, but the AAFP warns that all medications should be taken until finished.
Certain prescriptions may be more expensive than others. Ask your dermatologist about prescribing a generic form of the desired drug. Consider the side effects associated with each drug, especially if you take oral contraceptives. If you notice that your acne is not responding properly to the medication, schedule a follow-up visit with your dermatologist so he can assess your acne and possibly find a different solution.
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