Acne Control – A Guide to Oral Medications for Acne

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Acne control with oral medicationsMore and more dermatologists are prescribing oral medication to acne sufferers. Stubborn cases of acne that don’t respond to topical treatments can benefit from the use of oral medication. However, the side-effects are usually more severe when taking such medication.

Oral medication is usually recommended for those with severe forms of acne, especially cystic acne. Since this form of acne can be disfiguring, oral medication helps to keep it under control and minimize the damage to the skin.

 

Oral antibiotics – are quite commonly prescribed for acne sufferers. There are quite a few types of antibiotics that can be prescribed for an acne condition. The most common are: Erythromycin, Doxycycline, or Minocycline. All these antibiotics work by killing the P. Acnes bacteria that is related to acne formation.

Pros Antibiotics can clear acne quite fast in some cases, and the treatment is not very expensive. A test can be taken to see if there is any other type of bacteria that causes inflammation, and a certain antibiotic can be prescribed to treat it.

Cons – Bacterial resistance is the biggest issue when it comes to using antibiotics. It seems that the P. acnes bacteria becomes resistant to most antibiotics within a few months.

Another downside is that antibiotics can disturb the intestinal flora and cause bowel problems. This can also affect immunity, potentially leading to a more serious acne condition in the future.

Bottom line – Ask your doctor if antibiotics can help with your acne. A low dosage may be prescribed at first to see if the acne responds to the treatment. Antibiotics can help in the beginning, but the actual cause of acne must be uncovered in order to get rid of acne for good.

 

Birth control pills – are usually prescribed to women that suffer from hormonal acne. There are quite a few types of birth control pills, but most contain some form of synthetic progesterone and estrogen.

Birth control pills work by reducing the influence of androgen hormones on the follicle.

Pros – Contraceptive pills can get rid of acne by balancing hormones, but the right type of contraceptive pill needs to be determined by a doctor.

Cons – Once the birth control pill is discontinued, the acne usually returns. Also, the side-effects of birth control pills can be numerous. There is a risk of developing blood clotting and deep vein thrombosis, especially in women that smoke. Also, a recent study has linked birth control pills to infertility.

Bottom line Balancing hormones can be hard, but the fact is that birth control pills only offer a temporary solution. Most women will want to go off the pill at some moment, so it is best to look for natural solutions to hormonal imbalances.

 

Accutane – also known is Isotretinoin is a vitamin A derivative that is probably the most popular acne treatment. It acts by shrinking the oil glands and by reducing the amount of oil that the skin produces. Also, it seems to reduce the numbers of the P. acnes bacteria related to inflammatory acne.

Pros – It can have very dramatic results for those suffering from severe forms of acne. Although there are cases in which the acne returns, in most cases it can have a permanent effect. The effects are usually better for people that take higher doses of Accutane.  

Cons – The dangers of Accutane are quite numerous and severe. Also, the side-effects tend to affect almost everybody that goes on this treatment. The fact that it can have a permanent effect on the skin glands, also means that it can have permanent bad side-effects on the body.

The list of side-effects includes almost all organs and systems inside the body. Some common side-effects include: hair loss, headaches, depression, neurological symptoms, dry skin and lips, dry mouth, nose bleeding, liver toxicity, inflamed pancreas, just to name a few.

Accutane can’t be taken by women that are trying to conceive within the next few years due to high risk of developing birth defects.

Bottom line – Accutane should only be considered as a last resort by those that have very severe forms of acne. Also, the person taking Accutane should be very healthy with no history of liver problems. Medical tests need to be taken very regularly while taking this medication.

 

While medication can provide a quick-fix for those that suffer from acne, it can also have other unknown side-effects. To be able to cure acne completely it is important to know what causes it in the first place.

 

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