It’s unfortunate but true; for 17 million people  across the United States, acne is an unavoidable rite of passage. Uncomfortable and often embarrassing, it’s an ailment that can often be a stubborn houseguest on your body. If you grapple with chronic pimples, blackheads, and cysts, you’re also not alone – Brown University estimates that 85% of 12-24 age spectrum suffer from acne.

If topical treatments have had little effect on your skin, it might be time to look into oral antibiotics. Research conducted Grace K Kim, DO and James Q. Del Rosso, DO, FAOCD at the Valley Hospital Medical Center found that 79-82% of postadolescent patients had no success with conventional treatments, but oral treatment yielded a 68-84% success rate. Minocycline and doxycycline are most effective, thanks to their potency, but should not be used for more than three months. A recent study headed by James Leyden, MD through the Skin Study Center found that a 12-week oral treatment, combined with topical medication, resulted in a 66% reduction of inflammatory lesions.

There are a few considerations that deserve your attention if you’re considering using oral acne medication. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that oral treatment only be applied for moderate to severe cases of acne. It’s also important to keep in mind that the medication should not be used as monotherapy – give topical treatments a try first to see how effective they are.

Oral antibiotics are potent and often come with side effects such as dizziness or a sore throat. They also have an impact on the efficacy of birth control and make your skin more vulnerable to the sun (so make good use of sunblock during your treatment period!).

If acne is putting up a fight against your plan of attack, an oral treatment might be the perfect solution for you. Acne.org has a valuable list of available oral antibiotics and accompanying customer reviews to give you some insight into the pros and cons of each medication. Acne doesn’t have to take over your life; use a treatment that will restore your skin and your well-being.

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