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Top 5 Treatments
One of the most common responses to prominent and continuous acne by licensed dermatologists is an antibiotic regime. The understanding is that by addressing the root causes of the breakouts, acne can be prevented even before it begins. This is one of the most effective types of acne treatments available, as individuals report incredible success rates with regular antibiotic regimens. However, there are numerous drawbacks to using antibiotics as preventative medicine.
How They Work
Antibiotics are aimed at the primary causes of acne. Since acne is primarily the result of infection at the sebaceous gland at the root of hair follicles and in the deep pores of the face, antibiotics seek to regulate the growth of bacteria in these places. Acne occurs when the bacteria along these pores grows beyond the normal ranges and causes the skin around the pores to become infected and inflamed. Antibiotics act in two ways. They first seek to kill these bacteria before it builds up into an infection. Second, they help regulate the response to infection by white blood cells, which causes the inflammation. By reducing the response, antibiotic acne treatment helps minimize red bumps and whiteheads.
Common Types of Antibiotics
There are several different types of oral antibiotics that can be prescribed as a part of an individual’s acne treatment. The one that is prescribed depends largely on the individual patient and his or her reactions to specific medications. The dosages of each can vary as well, depending on the patient and their acne symptoms. With that being said, there are some that are prescribed more often than others. For instance, tetracycline is the one drug most commonly used for acne, followed closely by erythromycin. For those who are allergic to or respond badly to either of these, there is doxycycline. Clindamycin is a topical antibiotic, and it is often reserved for those who cannot take any type of oral antibiotic.
Drawbacks to an Antibiotic Regimen
Only a licensed dermatologist can prescribe a set of antibiotics, and they reserve these prescriptions for patients with the most severe cases of acne. That means there is little chance for casual acne sufferers to get treated with antibiotics to address the problem. The most unfortunate drawbacks to antibiotics, though, are the side effects. These can range from things like increased sensitivity to the sun and changes in skin pigmentation to nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. Some of these symptoms can be mitigated by increasing or decreasing their absorption rate with food, but many are unavoidable, no matter how the drugs are taken. Side effects do vary, though, depending on the patient.
Antibiotics can be the most effective means of tackling severe and consistent breakouts because they target the very things that produce acne. However, the serious side effects and complications that can arise from taking antibiotics as an acne treatment can mitigate the benefits of taking the drugs. Only those who suffer significantly from acne related breakouts should seek out an antibiotic response.