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
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
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.