A Patient's Guide to Acne
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Oral Antibiotics For Acne Treatment

While topical treatments are generally the first line of therapy for normal acne, they are not always effective. In particular, it is it can be a major inconvenience to manage widespread acne with topical treatment. Sometimes, acne simply does not respond well to topical treatment. In these cases, oral antibiotics can be prescribed.

How do Antibiotics help treat acne?

Acne is caused by anaerobic bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes. In acne, there is a proliferation of this bacterium in the clogged pores, which is in part responsible for the formation of pimples. Antibiotics help control the population of bacteria, thus clearing our acne in the process. Many antibiotics also have the effect of reducing inflammation in general, which help to clear inflamed papules (pimples/zits).

The most commonly used antibiotics are:

  • Tetracycline
  • Minocycline
  • Doxycycline
  • Erythromycin


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