Does topical antibiotics work for acne?

A Word From Verywell. If you have inflammatory acne, topical antibiotics may be a good addition to your acne treatment regimen. Remember, topical antibiotics work best when they’re paired with another acne medication, like benzoyl peroxide or topical retinoids.

How long do topical antibiotics for acne take to work?

Pregnant or breastfeeding women are usually advised to take an antibiotic called erythromycin, which is known to be safer to use. It usually takes about 6 weeks before you notice an improvement in your acne.

Does acne come back after topical antibiotics?

Acne treatment medications work by reducing oil and bacteria and help keep pores cleared of dead skin cells. But acne medications don’t change the way your skin behaves. If treatment is stopped, the pores become impacted again and breakouts return.

Is taking antibiotics for acne bad?

Taking oral antibiotics long-term isn’t just dangerous, it’s also not an effective way to treat acne. Try finding the right combination of topical treatments instead.

What is the strongest antibiotic for acne?

Isotretinoin is a powerful drug that’s used to treat the most severe cases of acne. Your doctor may recommend this drug if you have severe acne that doesn’t get better with other medications, including antibiotics.

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Do antibiotics work for hormonal acne?

Antibiotics work for most types of inflammatory acne. This includes red pimples, pustules, and mild cystic breakouts. However, they may not work well for severe cystic breakouts or for inflammatory acne that is very hormone dependent.

Do antibiotics make acne worse before it gets better?

Often for people who take doxycycline for acne, the acne can become worse before it starts getting better, this is sometimes described as the “purging phase”.

Are topical antibiotics bad for you?

For at least two reasons, the use of topical antibiotics can be unsafe. First, topical antibiotics and other antibiotics used with wound care contribute to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, most notably MRSA. 1 Second, people often develop an allergy to topical antibiotics like neomycin and bacitracin.

Does your skin purge with antibiotics?

While antibiotics can kill the bacteria associated with acne, it’s their anti-inflammatory effects, not their antimicrobial effects, that yield the biggest skin-clearing benefits.

What would a dermatologist prescribe for acne?

The most common topical prescription medications for acne are:

  • Retinoids and retinoid-like drugs. Drugs that contain retinoic acids or tretinoin are often useful for moderate acne. …
  • Antibiotics. These work by killing excess skin bacteria and reducing redness and inflammation. …
  • Azelaic acid and salicylic acid. …
  • Dapsone.