If you can count more than 10 blemishes on your face, youracneis considered severe and you should consult a dermatologist or family physician. Your doctor may suggest one of the following prescription medications:
Tetracycline. This oral antibiotic helps clear up the infection occurring inside clogged pores. A caution: It can cause vaginal yeast infections and photosensitivity (to sunlight), and should not be taken while pregnant.
Minocycline and Doxycycline. Oral antibiotics in the tetracycline family, they fight bacteria and are broad range.
Retin-A(Tretinoin). A derivative ofvitamin A, this treatment comes in a gel or cream and is applied directly to the skin. It fights bacteria, reducesinflammationand opens blocked pores. Because it causes peeling, one can experience severe redness and irritation, and may become sensitive to the sun. Sometimes Retin-A is used along with benzoyl peroxide.
Adapalene (Differin). A topicalRetin-A related drug. Milder than Retin-A, it causes less irritation and still works to unclog pores.
Accutane (Isotretinoin). Highly potent, this oral medication is prescribed for very severe acne only. Accutane reduces oil production, clogging of pores and bacteria in the skin. Its use results in skin dryness. Cautions: Do not take while pregnant or while trying to get pregnant because of potential birth defects. Doctors have recently discovered that this drug may be responsible for severe depression and other behavioral changes. A serious discussion with your doctor is extremely important before taking Accutane.
Azelaic acid. A gel or cream applied directly to the skin, this product exfoliates dead skin cells, preventing clogged pores.
Clindamycin Phosphate (Cleocin-T). This antibiotic applied to the skin is also an anti-inflammatory.
Sulfacet and Novacet. These sulfur drugs come in lotions that help reduce bacteria in the skin.