Several formulas of topical retinoids are also extremely effective against acne. Common side effects from these medications is dryness and burning which can be minimized by applying medication to completely dried skin after washing and applying only the minimum of the medication necessary. The doctor may also prescribe newer retinoids or retinoid-like drugs, such as tazarotene or adapalene, that help decrease comedo formation. Many therapeutic options exist for treating acne, including topical benzoyl peroxide, topical and oral antibiotics, topical and oral retinoids, and oral contraceptives. Systemic antibodies also have anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties.

So, like retinoids, it is good at clearing blackheads and whiteheads. It has some effect on reducing inflamed acne too, but probably not as much as antibiotics or benzoyl peroxide. A synthetic retinoid available as a gel or cream, it works to keep the skin’s pores clear and has proven effective in treating acne. This medication should not be used by women who are pregnant, and effective contraception is needed while taking tazarotene because the medication has produced birth defects in animals. People taking oral retinoids should not take vitamin supplements containing vitamin A. Accutane has now been linked with a long list of serious side effects which are frequent, varied and at times severe such as depression and suicide.

Frequently antibiotics have to be taken for months and often they are combined with other drug therapies such as Retinoids or benzyl peroxide. Retinoids break up the mixture of oil and dead cells that blocks the follicle and causes the lesion. Once the follicle is unclogged and oil flow is restored, the lesion begins to heal. Retinoids also help to reduce acne outbreaks by preventing dead skin cells from clogging pores.

Topical antibiotics certainly work faster than retinoid preparations and with much less side effects. Knowing that topical antibiotics can make you look and feel better in a shorter period of time is incentive enough and can greatly motivate you to see the treatment through. Minocycline helps reduce acne pimples by an average of 60%, but with chronic use a side effects can be skin pigmentation on the face and mucous membranes. You can also experience indigestion and abdominal upset for a few days or skin rash. Side effects include redness of the skin, allergy, and side effects specific to a particular antibiotic, for example, headaches and sun sensitivity.

Another oral retinoid, acitretin, is also used for severe acne. However, caution is necessary: Oral retinoids are associated with liver damage and a high risk of fetal deformity if taken during pregnancy. Retinoids are typically applied at bedtime and patients should wait at least 30 minutes after washing their face to apply the medication. In addition, these medications decrease UV protection and patients should wear a daily sunscreen. The doctor may also prescribe newer retinoids or retinoid-like drugs, such as tazarotene or adapalene, that help decrease comedo formation.

Oral (taken by mouth) antibiotics are usually taken for four to five months and have proved to be very effective in reducing acne. All of these medications have side effects, mostly commonly gastrointestinal upset, but the majority of patients tolerate them well with no discomfort. Because bacteria reproduce so quickly, these defenses can be rapidly passed on through generations of bacteria until almost all are immune to the effects of a particular antibiotic. The process happens faster than new antibiotics can be developed. Occasionally, however, resistance can occur and the bacteria can outsmart the topical antibiotics making them less effective. In addition to fighting bacteria, the topical antibiotics have the ability to fight and reduce inflammation.

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