There are a wide array of acne medication choices available: from over-the-counter topical treatments to prescription acne medication to strong medications of varying strengths intended to combat severe acne cases. The right acne medication, when applied according to prescription, can help to diminish the appearance of blemishes, lessen the likelihood of long-term damage to the skin and, in some cases, even prevent acne scarring. Before taking up any acne medication, it’s important to discuss it with your doctor and dermatologist.
One of the most well-known prescription acne medication drugs is the antibiotic drug doxycycline. This medication is most commonly known as an anti-inflammatory agent and can help to alleviate both whitehead and blackhead formation. Doxycycline has been shown to be effective against a variety of inflammatory conditions including acne, as well as certain cardiovascular and respiratory conditions and allergies. One of the side effects of doxycycline is increased sensitivity to the sun. Although this does not generally pose a health threat, prolonged exposure to the sun can have an impact on the effectiveness of other medications, such as topical antibiotics. In addition, patients using doxycycline should avoid sun exposure for a few weeks following a course of treatment.
Another popular prescription medications used to treat acne are the oral antibiotics like erythromycin and doxycycline. These two drugs have different ways of affecting the bacteria that cause pimples to form, and these differences are what make these acne medications used in different ways. Erythromycin is prescribed to fight the bacteria known as P. acnes, while doxycycline is taken to kill off the P. acnes bacteria that causes inflammation. Both types of acne medications have been shown to be effective in the treatment of acne. Erythromycin can be administered in a number of different ways, including oral tablets or by applying it directly to the skin. The skin should first be cleaned to remove any excess dirt and then an antibiotic cream may be applied to seal the cream in.
Another commonly prescribed prescription acne medication is isotretinoin. This acne medication is also used to treat some serious cases of pregnancy-related acne. This potential side effect of isotretinoin occurs only when the medication is used in conjunction with another drug. For example, pregnant women who take isotretinoin as their acne medication could develop birth defects in the fetus if they use the medication without warning prior to conceiving. Women who use other medications, such as birth control pills, may also experience this side effect.
For pregnant women, several medications may be available. Some acne treatments, such as light therapy and photodynamic therapy, could potentially cause adverse pregnancy side effects in some women. Because of this, pregnant women must discuss these treatments with their dermatologists. Women who experience side effects from isotretinoin, oral contraceptives, or photodynamic therapy are advised to stop these treatments and wait to give birth. Dermatologists may also provide advice for acne treatment during pregnancy.
Photodynamic therapy is a newer acne medication that is currently undergoing clinical testing. It works by using the blue wavelength light to kill bacteria. Because of its potential for side effects, photodynamic therapy is not appropriate for all patients with acne. If you notice that your acne has become worse while you are taking photodynamic therapy, contact your dermatologist immediately to discuss alternative treatments, such as oral antibiotics, topical antibiotics, or other acne treatments. It is very important to keep this information about your acne treatment medications completely accurate.
When your acne medication fails to work, your dermatologist will likely have you come back for a second opinion. It’s important to note that continued use of any acne medication may result in increased acne breakouts. This is why it’s very important to keep documentation of your medications, especially if they include the use of the prescription acne medication. In many cases, your dermatologist can give you a second opinion of the best acne medication for you. You can also request that you get a skin test done to determine if the medication is working as well as it should. This test is usually not required, but if you choose to get one, it could be worth it to ensure that your dermatologist and your doctor agree on a treatment plan for your acne.
One of the more common side effects of oral medications is dryness of the mouth and lips, which may also affect your ability to form words properly. This condition typically goes away after a few days. Other common side effects include headaches, stomach cramps, dizziness, dizzy spells, insomnia, and upset stomach. These are generally not serious, although patients who experience these side effects should contact their doctor right away. It’s important to keep documentation of all medications that you use to prevent future problems.