Topical treatments have always been among the first choices when it comes to sudden acne breakouts. Especially for those whose acne appears to be inflamed or infected, topical antibiotics would be the first thing that a lot of them would reach for. The effectiveness of these treatments would be on acne would depend on the kind of product used and the severity of the case, however. Trying to see what works for acne would be a case-to-case basis, with the kind of treatment applicable also changing depending on the situation.
How Acne Grows
Before checking the possible options for treatment, it’s always better to look at the causes first. Your skin is composed of thousands of hair follicles, all of them having the potential to be where acne starts. These follicles could accumulate a mix of dead skin cells, dirt, oil and bacteria, trapping all of these in. This is where blackheads and whiteheads come from. Once infection sets in, this is where redness and inflammation kicks in, making the spots more obvious.
How Topical Antibiotics Work
The biggest factor that promotes and worsens acne growth is the presence of a specific type of bacteria known as propionibacterium acnes. This is exactly what topical antibiotics go after. By applying topical antibiotics, you get rid of this kind of bacteria and reduce the infection in each pore, eventually leading to the drying out of any acne on your skin.
Antibiotics for Acne
There are several different antibiotics that you can choose from. If you want to see what works for acne, here are a few options you can try:
- Clindamycin – Clindamycin comes in the form of lotion, gel, toner-like solution, foam or pads. Its effects usually become evident in around 4 to 6 weeks. If prescribed by a doctor, other forms of treatment are usually combined with it, such as topical retinoid or benzoyl peroxide.
- Erythromycin – Erythromycin has the ability to cure moderate to severe cases of acne growth. It is also used for acne rosacea and ear infections. It is effective in reducing any inflammation and redness caused by infection. It is also one of the few treatments that children and nursing or pregnant women are allowed to use.
- Tetracycline – Tetratcycline is a very common drug prescribed for those suffering from acne. Aside from reducing swelling and redness, it also slows down the growth and spreading of acne-causing bacteria. Often used for moderate to severe acne, it is also used for stubborn acne growths if they are especially persistent.
- Metronidazole – Metronidazole could come in the form of gel, cream or lotion. Although used mainly for getting rid of acne rosacea, it is just as effective in easing the swelling and redness in other forms of acne.
Precautions and Warnings
In finding out what works for acne, you have to consider a few other things as well. Always do a spot check before applying anything on your skin to make sure that there are no adverse effects. Also, keep in mind that your body could also develop an immunity to antibiotics which means that what works for you now may not work as effectively in the future.