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Home :: Acne :: Acne Medication

Acne Medications

Acne when severe is best treated by a dermatologist. There are many medications that are used for successful treatment of acne. Topical medications that are applied to skin are prescribed for mild to severe acne. Systemic therapy, which works internally, is used in severe cases. Many times dermatologists may combine therapies to achieve the best results. Following is given a detailed description of best acne medications -

Interlesional Corticosteroid Injection

When an acne cyst becomes highly inflamed, it may rupture and cause scarring. To overcome the situation dermatologists may inject such cysts with a much-diluted corticosteroid. This provides immediate relief from inflammation and promotes healing by dissolving the cyst over a period of 3 to 5 days.


It is an oral retinoid made from vitamin A, which is used in rarest of rare cases when acne has proved resistance to other medications. It is four point pill that works on excess oil production, clogged skin pores, P.acnes and inflammation. However it cannot be prescribed to all due to its side effects.

 Oral Antibiotic

These are prescribed in patients with severe and persistent acne and aims in reduction of P.acne growth and resultant inflammation. Treatment begins with a higher dosage, which is reduced as the acne dissolves. The course of antibiotics runs fro a minimum period of six months. Among various antibiotics two are most commonly used to treat acne. They are Erythromycin and Tetracycline and derivatives. Erythromycin is effective guard against various types of acne bacteria, including P. acnes . However it suffers from the side effect of causing irritation in the gastrointestinal tract. Tetracycline is generally given to treat papules and pustules. It is not advised to children below the age of 8 years as it can affect growth and for the same reason it is not given to expecting and nursing mothers. Two synthetic derivatives of tetracycline commonly used to treat acne are doxycycline and minocycline.

Oral Contraceptive

Medical studies have shown that oral contraceptives are effective in treatment of acne among women as it can suppress overactive sebaceous glands. Used for long term acne treatment, it should not be given to those who smoke, suffer from blood-clotting disorder, are older than 35 or have a history of migraine headaches.

Topical Antimicrobials

Topical antimicrobials are a good resort to curb the growth of P.acne and used usually in patients with a history of mild to moderate acne. Commonly used topical antimicrobials are Azelaic acid, Benzoyl peroxide, Clindamycin, Erythromycin, Sodium sulfacetamide.

Topical Retinoids

A derivative of Vitamin A, topical retinoids are very effective in unclogging pores and prevent the occurrence of whiteheads and blackheads. Used for mild to severe acne, they enhance human skin's sensitivity to sun. However they diminish the sign of aging by doing away with wrinkles and fine lines. Most commonly used retinoids are Adapalene, Tazarotene and Tretinoin.

To sum up it can be said that nearly all cases of acne can be resolved with proper daily care regime, having patience as healing can take months and by adhering to the advice of dermatologist, in sever cases.