Categorized | Acne

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Acne – The Pros and Cons of Oral Antibiotic Therapy

For people who suffer from acne, oral antibiotics, such as Tetracycline and Erythromycin, are often the next treatment option after topical medicines (ones applied directly to the skin), have failed to give the desired results. They are often used in conjunction with other medications, like benzoyl peroxide, to improve the chances of a successful outcome. Like topical versions, oral antibiotics are used to fight bacteria and reduce inflammation; however, they tend to work more quickly. These treatments are not available over the counter and must be prescribed by your doctor. Also, you should avoid taking them if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Some of the disadvantages of using oral antibiotics

All drugs have potential side-effects and you should be aware of any which might affect you before you start taking them. Probably the main issue to consider with oral antibiotics is resistance. Bacteria can become resistant to a particular antibiotic and the drug can become less effective or stop working altogether over a period of time. For this reason, it is considered wise not to take them for extended periods. Some studies have also suggested

there may be a link between antibiotic use and an increased tendency to develop respiratory infections. Tetracycline, which is the drug most commonly prescribed for moderate to severe acne, can cause staining of the teeth. This is usually temporary in adults, but can be permanent in children; which is why they are not generally prescribed to children under 10.

The advantages

Oral antibiotic treatments have been used for controlling acne for a long time, and they are generally considered safe. There is no doubt that they are one of the most effective solutions available, and particularly if your acne is quite severe and likely to result in scarring, their advantages probably outweigh the potential downsides. Depending on how severe your acne is, improvements in your condition can be seen in as little as a few weeks. However, it can take several months for the full effects of the treatment to be noticed, so it's important not to stop taking the medication if it does not seem to be working fast enough.

For those who find topical treatments alone are not sufficient to control their acne, a course of antibiotics closely managed by a physician can dramatically improve their condition.

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