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Prescription Medications for Teenage Acne

Prescription Medications for Teenage Acne Prescription Medications for Teenage Acne

Teenage acne is often the most difficult to treat, as hormones are rampant in puberty, causing oil glands to produce excess oil that leads to breakouts. Multitudes of products marketed for teenage acne are available on pharmacy shelves, in grocery stores and cosmetic isles. While these products often contain effective ingredients for killing bacteria, some teens need a stronger medication. Prescription medications for acne may be suitable for those with severe acne conditions, including cystic acne.

Topical Medications

Topical creams, ointments and gels are prescribed for teens with mild to severe acne conditions. Benzoyl peroxide is one of the most widely used products, available in over-the-counter preparations and prescription formulas. Research proves benzoyl peroxide not only works to kill bacteria on the skin, it also increases the effectiveness of other medications like erythromycin and clindamycin, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Side effects include skin irritation and possible allergic reactions.

Oral Antibiotics

Oral antibiotics, such as tetracycline, doxycyline and minocycline are prescriptions used to treat moderate to severe acne conditions. Antibiotics are known for their effectiveness at killing bacteria in the body and combating infection. As part of an acne-fighting regimen, antibiotics are useful for eliminating acne on the face and other areas of the body, like the back and neck. These oral medications can be used for months to suppress acne, beginning with higher doses that taper with continued use. Your doctor will determine which level of medication is appropriate for your acne condition.

Topical Retinoids

Topical retinoid medications, typically available in creams and gels, are used to treat teenage acne. These medications are effective at helping skin shed, increasing cell turnover and reducing blocked pores that lead to acne. With initial use, an increase in acne results as acne is purged from the pores. In addition, the skin may become red, itchy and flaky. However, continuous use of topical retinoids yields clearer skin.

Cystic Acne Medication

Cystic acne is the most severe form of acne, requiring aggressive treatments. Isotretinoin, an oral retinoid is reserved for use among cystic acne sufferers and those who have tried other options without success. The medication is extremely potent, presenting potentially dangerous side effects like depression. For many users, acne clears for months or years after a course of treatment, which consists of daily dosages for up to 20 weeks, according to Family

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