Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acner.org: Acne treatment

The Best Prescription Acne Medications

The Best Prescription Acne Medications The Best Prescription Acne Medications

Acne is a common skin condition that occurs when a follicle becomes clogged with sebum (a protective oil produced by the skin) and dead skin cells. Acne can grow in severity as bacteria invade the acne lesion and surrounding tissue causing moderate to severe inflammation. Depending on the severity of the acne breakout, several prescription medications are available for treatment.

Isotretinoin

Isotretinoin is an oral synthetic retinoid that is one of the most commonly used acne treatment medications. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, it's popularity is largely due to the fact that is the only medication that can treat all four main causes of acne, including excessive sebum oil production, irregular skin cell shedding, inflammation and bacteria. Due to isotretinoin's ability to cause severe birth defects, the medication is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) iPLEDGE plan.

Erythromycin

Erythromycin is a prescription strength antibiotic that is also commonly used to treat acne breakouts. Erythromycin works by targeting and killing the Propionibacterium acnes (P. acne) bacteria which can cause infection in the acne affected follicle. This antibiotic can be taken orally, or used topically directly on the acne lesion.

Azelaic Acid

Azelaic acid is also a common topical prescription medication for the treatment of acne. Azelaic acid works by reducing the amount of P. acnes bacteria located in the acne lesions. It also helps regular skin cell shedding, which lessens the amount of material available for acne plugs to form.

Contraceptives

Contraceptives are also a popular prescription treatment for acne, but are only effective in women. Designed to prevent pregnancy from occurring, the effects contraceptives have on the hormones also affects the sebacious glands. This causes the glands to produce less sebum, which can both help clear up acne outbreaks, as well as help prevent future acne problems.

Corticosteroids

For severe inflammatory acne, such as cysts or nodes, corticosteroid injections may be needed for treatment. Corticosteroids are injected directly into acne lesions to reduce inflammation. As inflammation goes down, so does the pressure behind the lesion, reducing the chances that the area will burst, causing acne scarring.

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