Which are the Common Antibiotics used to treat Acne

Which are the Common Antibiotics used to treat Acne
Published : Feb 03, 2024
Last Updated : Feb 07, 2024

Acne is among the common skin problems when hair follicles get plugged with oil and dead skin cells. It turns into acne and may appear as whiteheads, blackheads, or pimples on the skin's surface.

Do you know it's among the most common skin conditions worldwide? You might be looking for the best solution to this skin problem.

In this blog, you will read about different types of antibiotics used to treat acne. The information may help you decide which antibiotic medicine might be best for you. Also, learn about the various types of antibiotics available to treat acne. And know how each antibiotic for acne work to reduce breakouts. 

Overview of the different types of antibiotics used to treat acne 

Antibiotics are a powerful solution to fight against bacteria responsible for flaring up acne. These drugs are highly effective and quickly reduce these bacteria. 

For the treatment of Acne following Antibiotics are mainly prescribed:

Macrolide (Azithromycin, Erythromycin), Tetracycline (doxycycline, minocycline)

These antibiotics are generally prescribed with topical antibiotics such as:


A type of antibiotic drug that targets the bacteria responsible for breakouts. These type of antibiotic is available in various forms, like: 

  • Minocycline
  • Doxycycline 
  • Tetracycline

Following antibiotics inhibits the growth of bacteria that cause acne. Thus, Tetracycline helps to reduce inflammation and treat acne caused by them. These antibiotics can be well tolerated, and a person can use them long-term under a prescription. 


Macrolide is an antibiotic medicine commonly helping treat skin infections and acne. These antibiotics are generally prescribed with topical treatments to lessen acne breakouts. Macrolides act by attacking and killing acne-causing bacteria. It reduces their number on the skin's surface to prevent the formation of acne. The type of Macrolide that is available to treat acne are: 

  • Erythromycin 
  • Azithromycin 

Following macrolides are highly effective in treating skin problems like acne. 

Azithromycin is a Macrolide antibiotic that helps treat skin problems like acne. It kills the bacteria from the affected skin area to help stops acne formation. Azithromycin does this by inhibiting the synthesis of vital proteins in bacteria. Thus, it stops bacteria from growing and also prevents them from reproducing. 

Azithromycin reduces inflammation and pore size, so acne has less chance of building up. It also reduces sensitivity to normal skin bacteria and helps prevent skin infections. 

A doctor may also prescribe you other macrolide types like Erythromycin or clindamycin. These are usually given considering the individual needs and severity of the acne. But the important thing is to work closely with your doctor to get the best treatment. 

Dosage of Azithromycin for acne

According to clinical studies, Azithromycin is most effective at 250mg daily, three times daily. The treatment may continue for a few weeks, and the dosage may change per individual needs.

The doses of Azithromycin can diminish the bacteria from the affected skin completely. It will reduce inflammation and controls skin breakouts.

Azithromycin is safe when you use it correctly, as a doctor directs. But some people may experience minor side effects like dizziness or upset stomach during its use. Usually, these symptoms resolve themselves, but you may need medical care if not. Follow the instructions given by the doctor while taking Azithromycin to get the best results. 

Other Topical Treatment For Acne

As a derivative of vitamin-A, Retinoids play a vital role in skin health and have many other benefits. It's a naturally occurring compound in the human body have extensive uses. Retinoids can stimulate the production of new blood vessels in the skin. And also it helps to regulate the development of the cell. 


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Retinoids have anti-inflammatory properties, anticancer, and photo-protective properties in it. Such properties make retinoids a popular ingredient in most skincare products. It is highly effective in reducing fine lines, wrinkles, and signs of aging and also treats acne.

Retinoids help treat and prevent certain skin cancers caused by harmful UV rays. During acne treatment, retinoids reduce swelling and inflammation due to breakouts. But, be cautious while using retinoid-based products or medicine for any skin problem. It can cause minor side effects like redness, dryness, and irritation at the application site. 

Retinoid is mainly used in dermatology; only to use them, please discuss them with a doctor first. Also, talk with a doctor before using skincare products that include retinoids or retinoic acid derivatives.

Common side effects associated with using antibiotics for acne treatment 

To treat acne, the most common types of medicine used are antibiotics. But, you must also be aware of the potential side effects they may cause during use. Here is a list of common side effects that may appear during antibiotics used for treating acne. They may cause:

  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Yeast infections
  • Nausea
  • Increased sensitivity to sunlight

However, these side effects are rare, and not every person who takes antibiotics gets them. But, be cautious if any of them or other adverse effects not listed here appear in you. Contact your doctor and seek advice to resolve them to continue a safe treatment. Also, make sure you do not have any allergy to the medicine you will use.