Our skin hosts many microscopic organisms in its surface even when it is relatively healthy. One of these organisms is the Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) bacteria, which is harmless in itself until such time when the skin pores become clogged with excess sebum and then it becomes acne in either its moderate or severe forms. Your previously flawless skin will then require the intervention of antibiotics for acne.
How Antibiotics Work
But first, let it be known that antibiotics must never be taken without the advice of a qualified doctor. Your body can develop a hard-to-crack resistance against antibiotics, which will make it difficult to treat your acne with these substances. In fact, if you suffer from other diseases that require antibiotics, your recovery will also suffer.
So, how do antibiotics work in the treatment of acne? First and foremost, antibiotics kill the bacteria in and around the hair follicles. The result is that these bacteria cease to have any adverse effects on the skin, thus, resulting in progressively lesser acne appearance.
Second, antibiotics for acne lessen the number of irritating chemicals generated by the white blood cells as the immune system tries to fend off the bacteria. The substances in the antibiotics take the place of the white blood cells in killing the acne-causing bacteria like P. acnes.
Third, antibiotics lessen the concentration of fatty acids found in sebum. The result is that the inflammation is controlled until such time that it has been eliminated.
Your doctor will prescribe a graduated regimen of antibiotics. Your first dosages will be on the maximum end to control acne but these dosages will soon taper off until only the minimal amount is provided to the body. Your doctor will assess when to start on the lower dosages based on your skin’s response to the antibacterial regimen. In this way, you have lesser chances of developing antibiotic resistance.
What Types Are Prescribed
Obviously, there are many types of antibiotics for acne that dermatologists will prescribe to their patients depending on the case. The following antibiotics are arranged in alphabetical order, not in the order by which doctors will possibly prescribe.
- Clindamycin is a very effective antibiotic, which comes in oral and topical forms. But you must be careful in its dosages as its side effect of pseudomembranous colitis can be fatal.
- Doxycycline is used for people who cannot tolerate or respond to tetracycline and erythromycin. Although it is effective, you must take it as directed since side effects from over-dosage include significant nausea and increased sensitivity to the sun.
- Erythromycin is the most commonly used antibiotics for acne. Its main functions are to kill the bacteria and lessen the inflammation. Side effects include stomach upset and nausea although pregnant women with acne can safely take the antibiotics.
- Minocycline is a derivative of tetracycline and is most effective for pustular acne. Side effects of taking it for a lengthy period of time include skin and teeth discoloration as well as dizziness, nausea, and vomiting.
- Tetracycline is the most widely-prescribed of these antibiotics. You will start with a 500mg dose two times a day, which can then be decreased as the lesions lessen as well.
Indeed, when these antibiotics for acne are used properly, you can control acne until such time that it has been eliminated.