Acne is a skin condition that causes whiteheads, blackheads, and inflamed red growths (papules, pustules, and cysts) to form. These growths are commonly called pimples or “zits.”
Antibiotics may help some people with acne:
Oral antibiotics (taken by mouth) such as tetracycline, doxycycline, minocycline, erythromycin, trimethoprim, and amoxicillin
Topical antibiotics (applied to the skin) such as clindamycin, erythromycin, or dapsone
Creams or gels applied to the skin may be prescribed:
Retinoic acid cream or gel (tretinoin, Retin-A)
Prescription formulas of benzoyl peroxide, sulfur, resorcinol, or salicylic acid
Topical azelaic acid
For women whose acne is caused or made worse by hormones:
A pill called spironolactone may help
Birth control pills may help in some cases, though they may make acne worse
Minor procedures or treatments may also be helpful:
A light procedure called Intense Pulsed Light Photofacial may help with redness and breakouts. Your doctor may also suggest chemical skin peeling, removal of scars by dermabrasion, or removal, drainage, or injection of cysts with cortisone
People who have cystic acne and scarring may try a medicine called isotretinoin (Accutane). You will be watched closely when taking this medicine because of its side effects.
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