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Using Amoxicillin for Acne Treatment: Does It Work?


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Acne is the most common skin condition in the world. You probably don’t need to be reminded of the symptoms – blackheads, whiteheads, pimples and cysts are, after all, a part of growing up for most people. Acne is caused by bacteria growing in the oil-producing pores found on your face, chest, shoulders and upper back when these are blocked up by a collection of dead skin cells, dirt, and oil. Irritating, embarrassing and sometimes painful, acne can be a persistent problem.

Using Amoxicillin for Acne

Amoxicillin is a penicillin-related antibiotic that is usually used to treat conditions like ear infections, pneumonia, and ulcers. Using amoxicillin for acne medication may seem like bringing out the big guns, but it can be a necessary measure in cases where the acne-causing bacteria have developed resistance to other antibiotics.

If over-the-counter drugs like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid don’t work against your acne, your dermatologist may recommend treatment with antibiotics to fight the bacterial infection. Commonly used medications include erythromycin and tetracycline, but if acne won’t respond even to these, a course of amoxicillin may be in order.

Amoxicillin for Acne TreatmentsAmoxicillin for Acne

For less severe cases, amoxicillin for acne treatment can come in the form of topical creams. These often contain other agents that help inhibit bacterial growth or cause some slight shedding of the skin to open up the pores in order to make the treatment more effective. The cream is applied directly to your skin, and less side effects are associated with this kind of medication than with oral medication.

Orally administered amoxicillin for acne may still be called into play for really stubborn infections, like cystic type acne. This is a more vigorous treatment that aims to decrease the responsible bacteria, as well as to reduce the inflammation resulting from the infection.

Side Effects of Using Amoxicillin for Acne

Perhaps the main concern when using amoxicillin for the treatment of acne is the possibility of bacteria developing resistance to the drug. For this reason, it’s likely that you won’t be on amoxicillin for long – you’ll usually start to see improvement after three weeks or so, and will be taken off the medication when the infection clears up after a few months. Antibiotics in general are not actually long term solutions to acne: they just clear things up for a while, and you’ll have to try to keep acne away with good hygiene practices afterwards.

Amoxicillin may not be for you, however, if you are allergic to penicillin and other similar drugs. There are also a number of side effects associated with this medicine, the severity of which varies from patient to patient. Before taking amoxicillin for acne, talk to your doctor about these if you want to find out more.

On that note, you should keep in mind that amoxicillin is a prescription drug, and you should never take it without your doctor’s orders. For it to have the best possible effects, you should follow your prescription exactly: never ever skip a dose! Contact a health care professional immediately if you start to feel any of the side effects coming.