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Using oral antibiotics to treat acne-prone skin

A Beginners Guide to Oral Antibiotics for Treating Acne

Have you been trying several different remedies to clear up your stubborn acne for months, or even years, without results? It may be time to consider a different approach. 

Sometimes topical treatments aren’t enough to combat deep blemishes or painful cystic acne, and you need to try a new strategy. In these instances, many people find success with oral antibiotics for acne. 

How do oral antibiotics work, and could they be your best option for treating acne? Let’s explore the details here.


How Do Oral Antibiotics Treat Acne?

Antibiotics are a common strategy for treating severe acne because they work to kill off the bacteria that are irritating your skin and triggering breakouts. While topical antibiotics work in mild cases, people with severe acne and those at higher risk of acne scars tend to get better results from taking oral antibiotics for acne instead.

The two most common active ingredients in oral antibiotics for acne include erythromycin (E-Mycin) and tetracyclines like doxycycline (Vibramycin or Monodox) or minocycline (Minocin). 

Note that oral antibiotics for acne should only be taken as needed. Your goal is to use them for the shortest time possible so that you lower your chance of developing antibiotic resistance. In fact, your doctor may suggest you use benzoyl peroxide topically as well as oral antibiotics to reduce your risk.

It’s also critical that you take the full amount of medication you are prescribed, even if your skin has cleared up. This both prevents resistance and lowers your risk of experiencing another breakout.


Side Effects of Oral Antibiotics

Few, if any, people suffer severe side effects from taking oral antibiotics. However, few studies have focused on their safety for children or pregnant women, so most doctors suggest that these two groups stick with the milder erythromycin treatment option out of caution.

You might find that they leave your skin more susceptible to sunburn, so while on the medication it’s important to slather on the sunscreen when you go outdoors!


Should You Try Oral Antibiotics for Acne?

Determining whether to take oral antibiotics for acne comes down to the severity of your acne. It’s usually recommended that you try topical treatments first before committing to an oral medication regimen. Your dermatologist can help you determine where to begin when eliminating your acne

Keep in mind that you’ll have the best chance of success if you take your treatment plan seriously. Commit to following your prescribed maintenance plan so that you experience clearer skin as soon as possible.


Treat Your Acne at Cumberland Skin in Tennessee

Getting an expert opinion is one of the best things you can do to banish blemishes for good and enjoy clearer skin. For those in Lebanon, Hermitage, Hendersonville, or Brentwood, TN, the Cumberland Skin Surgery and Dermatology Center is here to help.

Our dermatologist and medical aesthetic experts are here to provide you with honest skincare advice and devise treatment plans designed to help you put your best face forward. We are committed to following leading research and using state-of-the-art technologies to give you the best care possible.

Interested in learning more? Contact us today online or at (615) 257-7396. 


Cumberland SKIN is passionate about skin health. If you have questions about acne treatments or our clear skin approach, call (615) 235-0325 to schedule your appointment. 

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