Antibiotics For Acne
Antibiotics are the most commonly used method for treating acne. There are different antibiotics used to treat acne. They all work in more or less the same way. Acne antibiotics can either be used orally or applied on the skin. Although they can help reduce and clear acne breakouts, these antibiotics have their associated side effects.
How they work
Antibiotics for acne work in four main ways. First, they fight acne causing bacteria. This helps to reduce the number of acne causing bacteria on the skin and therefore helping reduce the breakouts. In addition, the antibiotics help to prevent the recurrence of the breakouts by protecting the skin from the acne causing bacteria. Secondly, they actively unclog skin pores by removing any particles and dirt which might cause the acne. Topical antibiotics usually do this. They contain exfoliant ingredients which help to unclog skin pores and remove any dead skin cells. Thirdly, they reduce histamine in the blood. Histamine is produced by the white blood cells as an immune response leading to inflammation. Finally, the antibiotics help to maintain a hormonal balance within the body. Hormone imbalance has been linked to excessive sebum secretion in the oil glands which contributes to the development of acne breakouts.
Oral antibiotics for acne
There are different types of oral antibiotics prescribed for the treatment of acne. The most common of these include the following.
Tetracycline is one of the commonly prescribed acne treatments. For effectiveness, the patient has to take the medication on an empty stomach. Taking the medication with meals reduces its effectiveness. It has a derivative, minocycline which is commonly prescribed for treatment of pustular acne.
Doxycycline is an acne treatment antibiotic commonly prescribed for patients whose acne conditions don’t respond to treatment with tetracycline or minocycline. It should be taken with food.
Possible side effects of oral antibiotics for acne
Nausea and vomiting
Candida vaginal yeast infection in women
Interaction with birth control pills lessening their effectiveness
Increased skin sensitivity to the sun
Allergic reactions to the medication
Topical antibiotics for acne
These antibiotics are applied directly to the affected area. They come in the form of lotions, gels, pads, ointments and creams. Application of the antibiotics usually comes after thoroughly cleaning the skin. Common topical acne antibiotics include the following.
Benzoyl peroxide works well as a topical acne treatment. It works by killing bacterial reducing inflammation and has an exfoliating effect.
Clindamycin and erythromycin are both used as oral and topical acne treatments.
Possible side effects of topical antibiotics for acne
Increased skin sensitivity to the sun
Allergic reaction to the antibiotics
Dryness and flaking of the skin
Oral clindamycin can cause pseudomembranous which is an intestinal infection.
Before using any of the antibiotics it is recommended that you consult a dermatologist. The reason for this is that besides the stated side effects, the antibiotics can also interact with other medicines or negatively affect your health. In addition, most of these antibiotics aren’t for use on children unless recommended by a doctor.
Who can use antibiotics for acne?
Anyone with acne breakouts can use antibiotics for acne as a treatment method. However, given the possible side effects and some conditions such as pregnancy, skin disease and other health related conditions, it is best to consult a dermatologist before taking any of these antibiotics.
How effective are the antibiotics
Many acne sufferers have found the antibiotics to be quite effective in combating acne breakouts. However, effectiveness comes down to the type of antibiotics for acne used and the individual’s condition. A study showed that the acne causing bacteria is becoming resistant to some of the antibiotics making them less effective for treatment.
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