How Antibiotics Treat Acne

A wide variety of oral and topical antibiotics are prescribed to treat acne, including tetracycline, erythromycin, minocycline, doxycycline and clindamycin. Many factors come into play when choosing the antibiotic, such as the patient's age, allergies, and if they are pregnant or nursing.

Antiobiotics decrease the amount of bacteria present in the pores. Additionally, they help hinder the inflammatory response once a pore is clogged, thus reducing the telltale redness and swelling associated with blemishes. However, it can take up to two months of treatment before you see any improvement.

Keep in mind, oral antiobiotics can cause yeast infections, and may decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills. Antiobiotics can also cause sun sensitivity, so it's even more important than usual to wear sunscreen.

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2 Comments
  • KaleyG
    Posted on

    I am on my 12th month of taking oral antibiotics. I started with tetracycline, which was effective for the first 8 months or so. Then it stopped being effective, and my dermatologist switched me to minocycline. If you try oral antibiotics and they don't work well for you, or only work well for a while, you might need to switch kinds. I wish that I did not have to take oral antibiotics, as I know that continued use is not healthy, but I do not know what else will work for me.

  • April
    Posted on

    I was on antibiotics for 2 years straight without any improvement. The only thing that worked well for me was Accutane (Amnesteem, Sotret, etc). Still available in the US, but from other manufacturers. I took a multivitamin called BtoZinc while on Accutane and it helped to reduce the fatigue and prevent adverse effects from consuming Vitamin A at the same time as Accutane. I highly recommend it and would use it again.

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