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What Antibiotics Treat Acne?

Learn which topical and oral antibiotics treat acne from dermatologist Cybele Fishman, MD in this Howcast skin care video.


So, there are two kinds of antibiotics that we use to treat acne. One kind is topical, and that means things you put on your face, so washes, creams, lotions. And the most common ones are clindamycin and sulfur antibiotics, and benzoyl peroxide also has some antibiotic activity. The oral antibiotics we use most often are doxycycline, minocycline, and tetracycline.

Antibiotics can be very helpful in acne, but the one problem with them is that they stop working after awhile. And it's probably because the bacteria that they're killing becomes resistant to the antibiotics. So, I don't like to keep people on oral antibiotics for more than three months, because I think that it just doesn't work that well.

In addition, antibiotics, orally, do kill all the good bacteria that we have in our digestive tracts. So, I don't like to keep people on for too long, and I also recommend people take probiotics when they're on long-term antibiotics.

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