How do medications treat severe acne?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Severe acne requires a combination of medications, which are intended to reduce inflammation and eliminate bacteria. You should consult a dermatologist for more information.
For severe acne, doctors will often recommend using both a topical treatment and a course of oral antibiotics. Oral antibiotics kill acne-causing bacteria. Women suffering from severe acne may get relief from birth control pills, which alter the levels of the hormones involved in causing acne. Severe acne often responds to isotretinoin, an oral medication that unclogs pores. But there are serious side effects to this drug, and not everyone should take it. Pregnant women should never take isotretinoin.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.