Antibiotics for Acne

Antibiotic therapy (topical or oral) is commonly used to treat acne in many patients and is usually considered to be safe and effective. The mechanism by which these antibiotics for acne work differs with the drug. Some antibiotics have antibacterial properties with minimal anti-inflammatory effect, while some have both anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Macrolides like clindamycin, erythromycin and azithromycin have minimal anti-inflammatory properties and work mainly by reducing P.acne level, while other antibiotics like tetracycline and its derivatives has both potent anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

Topical Antibiotics for Acne

Topical antibiotics are generally used to treat mild cases of acne. They are safer and accurate to use as compared to other oral antibiotics. These topical antibiotics are either used a single line regimen or with combination therapy, but are more effective when used in combination with other topical preparations like Benzoyl peroxide or retinoids.

Here is the article that discuss about topical antibiotics used in acne therapy

Topical Antibiotics for Acne

Oral Antibiotics for Acne

Although mild cases of acne can be treated with over the counter acne treatment or prescription topical therapy, there are many cases where topical antibiotics alone may not be sufficient.

Who are the candidates for oral antibiotic therapy?

Candidates for oral antibiotics therapy includes:

  • Patients with moderate to severe inflammatory acne
  • Patients who have failed response to topical therapy
  • Patients whose acne covers a large area, thus making topical therapy impractical

Here is the article that discuss about oral antibiotics for acne and their safety measures

Oral Antibiotics for Acne

Antibiotics, either topical or oral are best used together with a topical retinoid or Benzoyl peroxide due to their limited effect on comedogenesis and increasing antimicrobial resistance.

The Most Efective Combined Therapy For Acne

With many research and study, combined therapy with retinoids, Benzoyl peroxide gels and topical antibiotics are found to be most effective in treating most of the acne infections.

With this type of therapy, the retinoids prevents or removes comedones, whereas benzoyl peroxide or any other topical antibiotics eradicates P.Acnes. The retinoids also enhances absorption of the other medications. Sometimes irritation reactions limit the use of this combination therapy. So before you apply the combination therapy for your acne, there are few things you should know.

Always use retinoids creams or solution in the evening or bedtime as a single agent .

Apply benzoyl perixide gel or any other topical antibiotics prescribed in the morning.

If you acne have decreased then you must decrease the frequency of therapy and the concentration of the medications.

If you are using tretioin, apply the agent at different times, not simultaneously. Mixing highly saturated tretinoin with reactive oxidants like benzoyl perixide  might destroy both chemicals.

If you have any questions regarding use of combination therapy ask us at DermaTalk Skin Care Forum

Topical Antibiotics Used for Acne Treatment

Acne is common skin disease that affect almost 90% of the people at some time in their life. Acne is caused by abnormal desquamation of follicular epithelium which results in obstruction of the pilosebaceous canal. The  obstruction of the pilosebaceous canal further  leads to the formation of comedones. These comedones becomes inflamed due to overgrowth of Propionibacterium acnes.

Topical Preparations like Benzoyl peroxide, Salicylic Acid, Azelaic Acid, Retinoids, Sulfur Preparations and many topical antibiotics are mainly used in the treatment of acne. These topical preparations are either used a single line regimen or with combination therapy.

Topical antibiotics are safer and accurate to use as compared to other oral antibiotics . Topical antibiotics are mainly used for their role to kill  P acnes. They may also have anti-inflammatory properties, Thus killing the bacteria and keeps the glands unblocked. The most commonly used topical antibiotics are Tetracycline, Erythromycin and Clindamycin. Study shows that Clindamycin is more effective than topical tetracycline in treating acne. They are most effective in combination with benzoyl peroxide. These preparation can be used once or twice a day depending upon the nature of acne. Gels and solutions may be more irritating than creams or lotions.

Clindamycin: Clindamycin  is one of the most commonly used topical antibiotics. It is available in 1% concentration in a hydro-alcoholic vehicle as a gel or lotion. This can be Applied once or twice daily. Some common side effects might be Skin dryness and another which is rare ( only 2-3 cases ) might be  pseudomembranous colitis. Patients suffering from inflammatory bowel disease should not use this antibiotics. The therapy must be stopped if any gastrointestinal symptoms occurs. It can be used in combination with benzoyl peroxide prepration for better outcome.

Erythromycin : Erythromycin is another popular antibiotics used as topical treatment. It is available as 1.5 %  solution, 2% solution or a combination 3%  Erythromycin and 5%  benzoyl peroxide gel. It can be applied once or twice daily. It doesn’t have much more side effects and can be used in pregnancy too.

Tetracycline: Tetracycline is another topical antibiotic used in acne treatment. It comes in 2.2 %  solution. It may be applied once or twice daily. Special precautions should be taken before applying it as it might stain skin and clothes. Sometimes  it may cause severe allergic reactions to skins.

It is important to know that acne is not a disease of hygiene. so you should not try to scrub the lesions away, and  should not use alcohol-based astringents which might dry and irritate your skin.

If you have any questions that are not answered here you can ask us at DermaTalk Skin Care Forum