Antibiotics are commonly prescribed for the treatment of acne. Antibiotics may be used on the skin (topical preparations) or taken by mouth (oral preparations).
Antibiotics help control acne by killing the bacteria that cause the acne lesions to become inflamed. The sebum (oil) within the hair follicles can become infected by p. acnes bacteria, resulting in swelling and redness of the acne lesion. Killing the bacteria reduces the inflammation and reduces the severity of the acne flare.
Oral antibiotics are usually prescribed for cases of moderate or severe acne. Oral antibiotics are usually started at a relatively high dosage that is reduced over time as the acne is brought under control.
Oral antibiotics for acne include:
Take your acne medication exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed.
Read the medication guide that you receive with the medication for a complete list of possible side effects.