Blackhead Removal Antibiotics
Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States, affecting between 40 million and 50 million people each year, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Plugged pores called comedones create a small bump, or pimple, on the skin. Open comedones with a dark color are called blackheads, and these can be treated with oral and topical antibiotics in moderate to moderately severe cases.
Topical blackhead removal antibiotics include topical erythromycin, the semi-synthetic clindamycin and sodium sulfacetamide. Benzoyl peroxide, an antimicrobial, may increase the effectiveness of topical antibiotics, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Oral antibiotics include oral erythromycin, tetracycline and tetracycline derivatives such as doxycycline and minocycline. Antibiotics may be used alone or in conjunction with other topical treatments such as retinoids or azelaic acid. Your dermatologist can determine the best combination therapy to suit your acne.
MayoClinic.com explains that the three factors that contribute to acne are an overproduction of oil in the skin, irregular shedding of dead skin and a buildup of bacteria. Oral and topical antibiotics work by reducing bacteria in the skin and fighting the inflammation that leads to blackhead eruptions. Dermatologists usually prescribe a smaller dose of antibiotics when treating acne than physicians prescribe for other bacterial infections.
Topical antibiotics can cause mild dry skin and itchiness. The New Zealand Dermatological Society recommends using a nonoily moisturizer if you are bothered by the dryness or have noticeably scaly skin. Oral antibiotics can cause sun sensitivity and increase your risk of sunburn; protect yourself from direct sunlight by wearing sunscreen or a hat when you go outside. Stomach discomfort and diarrhea may also occur. Antibiotics reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills in some women.
Taking antibiotics for acne increases the risk of developing antibiotic resistance, so it is important to follow your dermatologist's directions carefully and continue taking the medication until told to stop. Once your symptoms begin to improve, your physician may taper the dosage. The American Academy of Dermatology explains that a typical course of antibiotic acne treatment lasts six months or less. If your acne does become resistant to the antibiotic, it will no longer work. In that case, your doctor may prescribe another type of treatment.
Antibiotics may not work for all blackhead acne. Your dermatologist may need to adjust the dosage, change your antibiotic or alter your treatment regimen until he finds the ideal combination to relieve your blackheads. Be sure to report any unusual side effects or discomfort. While taking the prescribed regimen, avoid using extra products, especially over-the-counter acne medications or products containing alcohol, unless directed to do so by your dermatologist.
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