Among topical and oral treatments, bactericidal benzoyl peroxide and antibiotics are known to be effective. Listed below are some popular acne treatments that fall in this category:
Benzoyl Peroxide (Topical)Form: Cream, gel, wash, bar soap.
Directions for use: Rub the topical bactericidal cream or gel into the affected pores. Do this twice a day. Alternatively, you can use washes or bar soaps containing benzoyl peroxide; the concentration varies from 2-10%. In order to avoid side-effects and prevent dryness, combine low-concentration (2-3%) treatments with non-comedogenic moisturizers.
Prescription-strength treatments containing benzoyl peroxide do not usually have more than 10% concentration, but the active ingredient is dissolved in a product that penetrates the skin more deeply as compared to over-the-counter preparations.
Side-effects: Common side-effects of topical benzoyl peroxide-based treatments include dryness, redness and irritation of the skin.
Warnings: Benzoyl peroxide is a strong chemical with strong bleaching properties, and must be used carefully with regards to eyes, hair and clothes.
Oral antibioticsCommon types: Doxycycline, Erythromycin, Lymecycline, Minocycline, Oxytetracycline, Tetracycline and Trimethoprim.
Antibiotics have been commonly and traditionally used to treat existing acne. However, they do not have any known effectiveness against preventing future acne, as they do not attack the source of the problem or restore the oil secretion or cell behavior of the body to its normal levels. Widespread use of antibiotics has also made acne-causing bacteria more resistant, and hence antibiotic use less effective, as time goes on.
Topical antibioticsAntibiotics such as Tetracycline, Erythromycin, Stiemycin and Clindamycin attack the bacteria that live in clogged follicles. Topical application of antibiotics is as effective as their oral intake, but can be difficult or awkward when it comes to other parts of the body besides the face. However, topical application carries less risk of side-effects as it does not interact with other chemicals within the body or disrupt any other antibiotic or medication use.
Both oral and topical antibiotics have very limited effectiveness in preventing future outbreaks of acne, as they only treat prevalent acne and do not attack the source of the problem that leads to acne.
There are several other types of treatment available in the market today, and it is crucial to research available options and medications thoroughly before making a choice. Ingredients must be carefully studied, and a doctor should be consulted when strong medications are being used in combination.