You might wonder, how do antibiotics work to treat acne? The most important function of an antibiotic is to decrease the number of bacteria in the follicles. They also reduce irritating chemicals as well as the concentration of free fatty acids in the sebum. Here is a list of the most commonly used antibiotics.
- Tetracycline: the most widely prescribed antibiotic for acne. IT is the least expensive and has few side effects. It must be taken on an empty stomach either half an hour before a meal or 2 hours after a meal and should not interact with antacids or milk. Common side effects include sun sensitivity, skin pigmentation, gastrointestinal irritation, and teeth staining. It has been prove to show 25% improvement on acne in 1 month.
- Erythromycin: the antibiotic is also very commonly used and has several advantages over tetracycline. It is an anti-inflammatory property that helps reduce redness and can be taken with food. Side effects include upset stomach and nausea but is not harmful for pregnant women.
- Minocycline: a tetracycline derivative that is especially useful for pustular type acne. This is best taken on an empty stomach and should not be used if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Side effects include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, skin pigmentation, and teeth discoloration.
- Doxycycline: this is a good alternative for those who cannot take erythromycin or tetracycline. It should be taken with food or else could cause severe nausea. Other side effects include: sun and light sensitivity as well as indigestion and diarrhea. You should not take this drug during pregnancy or breast-feeding.
- Clindamycin: a semi-synthetic antibiotic topical treatment that destroys P Acnes, which is acne-causing bacteria. It is normally used to treat serious bacterial infections. Side effects include dryness and irritation. When using this treatment, it is very important to follow careful instructions so that the bacteria do not develop resistance.