Topical Medications for Acne
Sulfur and Salicylic Acid—These have some mild ability to break down whiteheads and blackheads. This is found in many non-prescription products including Sensiclear.
Prescription Medications for Acne
Topical Retinoids— Differin, Epiduo, Retin A Micro, Tazorac, tretinoin, and Ziana are among the most effective and commonly used prescription acne medications. Topical retinoids are unique in their ability to unclog swollen pores. They may be used alone for mild acne or combined with other medications for moderate to severe acne. They may also be recommended for long-term use, even after the acne is under control, to keep the skin clear.
Antibiotics applied to the skin, such as clindamycin (Clindagel) and erythromycin, kill the P. acnes bacteria that leads to inflammation.
Oral Medications for Acne
Oral Antibiotics—These medications, which include tetracycline, doxycycline (Adoxa, Doryx), and minocycline (Dynacin, Solodyn), act systemically and can reach bacteria in the deep layers of the dermis. They are also used for their anti-inflammatory effects.
Many of these acne medications have side effects, such as burning, redness, and irritation. With some medicines, such as topical retinoids, these side effects usually decrease or go away after the medicine is used for a period of time. If side effects are severe or don’t go away, tell your doctor.