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Acne Treatment With Topical Antibiotics

Acne infection is commonly treated with topical antibiotics. Topical antibiotics kill the bacteria P. acnes and also help keep the gland unblocked. As topical antibiotics are safer to use for a long period compared to oral antibiotics, they are preferred for moderately infected acne. The common antibiotics used topically are- Tetracycline, Erythromycin, Metronidazole and Clindamycin. Clindamycin is the most popular antibiotic for topical application. Before we discuss about them individually, let us first know more about the cause of acne.

The main reasons of acne formation are

- Blocked pore because of excess hormonal activity and uneven shedding of dead skin cells that block the sebaceous gland.

- Excess production of sebum is a main cause of acne. This excess sebum gets blocked inside and is infected causing acne.

- When sebum gets filled and blocked in the gland, the bacteria P. acnes attacks the sebum and multiplies inside the gland. This bacterium infects the gland and creates inflammation.

Topical antibiotics are used to kill this bacteria P. acnes. When this bacterium is removed the infection reduces and the inflammation also reduces. The lesion stops spreading inside the deeper skin and scarring is reduced. If the bacteria is allowed unchecked it can cause further growth of infection and cause scars. Let us discuss the antibiotics used.

Clindamycin - This is a very good antibiotic for acne. Oral Clindamycin may cause colitis; therefore it is preferably used topically. It is available as lotion, gel, cream etc and should be applied twice to the acne-affected skin. If you have any history of antibiotic induced colitis or any other colitis, do not use this. You need to discuss this with your doctor before you begin using Clindamycin.

Tetracycline - Tetracycline may cause allergic reactions and also may turn the skin yellow. It is not commonly used as a topical antibiotic for acne.

Erythromycin - Erythromycin is very popular as a topical antibiotic. It is well tolerated and causes very few side effects when used topically. It is also safe for pregnant women.

Metronidazole - Metronidazole formulation is used for rosacea and acne caused during rosacea. It is not commonly used for Acne Vulgaris.

This article is only for informative purposes. This article is not intended to be a medical advise and it is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your doctor for your medical concerns. Please follow any tip given in this article only after consulting your doctor. The author is not liable for any outcome or damage resulting from information obtained from this article.

Submitted by:

CD Mohatta

The author CD Mohatta writes on acne for acnedoctor.us which has info about skin care, acne treatments, causes, medicines, myths, acne scars, etc.


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