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The Best Medication for Acne Breakouts

The Best Medication for Acne Breakouts The Best Medication for Acne Breakouts


It's common, it's not life-threatening, but it's still horrible--it's acne. Whether you have one zit or patches of redness and swelling, you want the best treatment for every acne breakout. There are many, many treatments for acne, over-the-counter medications as well as prescriptions medications. According to Acne Net, acne treatments today are meant to decrease sebum (oil) production, illuminate bacteria and inflammation and normalize skin shedding. Medication use depends on the level of acne, whether mild, moderate or severe.

Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide is a common ingredient in many acne medications. It is often used to help kill bacteria, unplug oil ducts and heal pimples. The dermatologists at Acne Net say that benzoyl peroxide is often used because it's known to increase the effectiveness of other medications to treat acne. Benzoyl peroxide is available over-the-counter and in prescription strengths, but can be drying to the skin. It can be found in creams, washes, gels, cleansers and lotions.


Retinoids can be prescribed by a doctor as a topical or oral medication for acne. Topical retinoids are made from Vitamin A and, according to Acne Net, is the cornerstone of acne treatment. Retinoids act to unclog pores and help stop whiteheads and blackheads from forming. Because retinoids can be very irritating to the skin, a doctor's direction is required. Oral retinoids are potent; their use being reserved for severe cases of acne that have not responded to other medications.

Oral Antibiotics

Determining the cause of your acne may be challenging; a dermatologist may need to be consulted. If bacteria play a significant role, oral antibiotics may be best, says Acne Net. Tetracycline or erythromycin are common oral antibiotics and tend to work well in combination with topical benzoyl peroxide. Oral antibiotics can help attack bacteria internally while the benzoyl peroxide will work to kill bacteria topically.

Topical Antimicrobials

Antimicrobials are designed to inhibit the growth of bacteria, fungi or protozoans. Topical antimicrobials are known to be very effective for inflammatory acne, according to the Acne Medicine site. Some formulas of antimicrobials combine two or more ingredients for a better result. There are several topical antimicrobials available by prescription that doctors use: azelaic acid, clindamycin, erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide.

Combing Medications

According to Acne Medicine, one of the most effective approaches to take for acne is to combine products and medications. The most obvious reason is that you'll be attacking multiple causes for the acne at once. Cost and convenience are also factors when choosing combining medications. A common combination is benzoyl peroxide with a broad-spectrum antibiotic. Talk to your doctor about possible medication combinations that are right for your condition.

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