Such a common condition as acne can be treated in a number of different ways because it can have wildly different causes. Regular drugstore or higher-end skincare products can easily treat occasional acne in most cases, while others need specific over-the-counter topical and oral medications. In the most severe cases, though, none of these courses of treatment will be enough.
If you have severe and persistent acne, it is likely because it is caused either by a hormonal imbalance or bacteria. If so, you should see a doctor who will be able to determine exactly what’s causing your skin to react and prescribe the right treatment.
If the doctor determines that your acne is caused by bacteria which are embedded in and under the skin, they will often prescribe antibiotics. It may sound strange and even extreme, but it is quite normal and frequent to use antibiotics to treat acne, as the condition is, in fact, a sort of infection.
Antibiotics can be used to treat acne of all kinds and stages, both in the face and body. In fact, you probably have some topical antibiotics like ointments that can be used to treat occasional or mild acne already.
This isn’t the only kind of antibiotics that can be used to treat skin conditions though. In fact, a lot of popular acne treatments come in the form of tablets and capsules, and such are antibiotics, which is why they can be acquired with a prescription from a dermatologist or another doctor.
Topical and oral antibiotics have generally the same function when it comes to acne – they kill the bacteria, stop the infection and reduce inflammation. The biggest difference is that topical treatments act on the skin level, while oral ones kill the bacteria internally. The former can be taken without the latter, but it is rare that oral medication is taken without a topical treatment.
Tetracycline is the antibiotic that is more frequently used to treat acne. However, it is not safe for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, which is why erythromycin is commonly prescribed in those cases.
Acne treatment with antibiotics is a long process that can take up to six months to be finished and show results, both with the topical and oral options. Topical acne medication rarely has side effects, unless the patient has an allergic reaction. Tetracycline, however, can cause higher skin sensitivity and has a variety of other side effects.
It is common for patients to experience headaches and stomach discomfort while taking this medication, which drives them to seek alternative courses of treatment for their skin conditions, whether it be a reduction in dosage or a different medication altogether.