Sulfameth for Acne
If you've had stubborn acne for a while, chances are you've tried various over-the-counter products or even prescription medications with limited success. Some cases of acne simply resist treatment more than others, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. If this is your situation and you're working with a dermatologist, it's possible your physician might try sulfameth, a type of antibiotic, for your acne.
Pimples can range from simple whiteheads and blackheads to infected cysts. Regardless of how they look on the surface, they're caused by blocked pores in the skin, according to the AAD. Too much sebum oil produced in the skin causes these pore blockages, and also causes the oily skin that can promote the growth of inflammation-causing bacteria.
Sulfameth, which contains the active ingredients sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim, fights bacterial infection in inflammatory acne. It's an oral medication available as either pills or in a liquid that you'll take according to your physician's instructions. Sulfameth comes under the brand names Septra and Bactrim, and dermatologists prescribe both for acne treatment.
Some people develop allergies to sulfameth and other antibiotics, and you should watch for signs of an allergic reaction when starting the medication. Allergic reaction symptoms include hives or a skin rash, fever, cough and shortness of breath. Other less serious side effects from sulfameth can include a swollen tongue, dizziness, joint pain or insomnia.
Medical studies over many decades have backed the use of sulfameth for acne treatment. For example, a study reported in 1978 in the medical journal Dermatologica looked at 42 acne patients treated with sulphamethoxazole-trimethoprim. Nearly 80 percent of patients achieved complete acne remission or excellent results after 18 weeks of treatment, the study said.
Antibiotic resistance represents an increasing problem in acne, with bacterial organisms becoming resistant to common antibiotic treatments such as tetracycline. Physicians sometimes prescribe sulfameth when treatment with other antibiotics has failed, according to patient reports on Acne.org. To make sure your sulfameth stays effective against your acne, take your doses exactly as your doctor prescribes.
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