Prescription Acne Treatments

For many dealing with mild to moderate acne, over the counter solutions are sufficient in keeping breakouts under control. However, severe acne sufferers may find that over the counter products are not strong enough to treat their condition effectively. If grocery store products are not working on your acne condition, it might be time to see your doctor about other available options. Before you begin a prescribed course of action, it is important to collect the facts about prescription acne treatments.

Topical Prescriptions

In some cases, prescription acne treatments will be more potent forms of over the counter topical solutions. These topic prescriptions might contain a hefty dose of benzoyl peroxide or azelaic acid. While benzoyl peroxide can successfully treat acne by killing p. acnes, the culprit in acne breakouts, it is not able to reduce the inflammation that often accompanies the breakouts. Azelaic acid can kill p. acnes and reduce inflammation and can be used safely over a longer period of time.

Other topic prescription acne treatments might include a topical antibiotic that can also kill p. acnes and reduce inflammation. However, antibiotic solutions are often combined with other types of ingredients for the best results. Other topical ingredients include retinoids, which are derivatives of vitamin A. These formulas may offer an additional benefit in that they can reduce signs of aging while they fight acne.

Oral Antibiotics

Another category of prescription acne treatments is the oral antibiotic. Tetracycline and erythromycin are both common medications used to treat acne from the inside out. However, there are some problems with using oral antibiotics for this purpose. First, p. acnes bacteria can become resistant to these medications over the long term. In these situations, the antibiotic can be switched with another to continue the results. Regular use of antibiotics can also result in some unpleasant side effects for some people, making it impossible to keep up the regimen long enough to see positive benefits. You and your doctor are the best ones to decide whether oral antibiotics are a good choice for you.

Other Oral Medications

Another oral medication that is one of the better known prescription acne treatments is isotretinoin, also known as Accutane. This powerful drug is usually reserved for treating the most severe cases of acne inflammation, but it is quite effective in the majority of cases. This medication works by reducing sebaceous glands below the surface of the skin so less oil is produced. However, Accutane also comes with serious side effects, including severe birth defects in women who became pregnant while on the medication. Most doctors will not prescribe this medication to women of child bearing age unless they are on a form of birth control as well.

Prescription acne treatments can be a good option if over the counter acne products are not doing the job. If you have been unable to control your acne breakouts with the standard fare, talk to your doctor about the prescription acne treatments that might work for you.