How Does Doxycycline Treat Acne – Dosage And Side Effects

Doxycycline Acne – Uses And Treatments

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Treatments for acne have been wide and varied as medical science has progressed. Antibiotics are commonly prescribed to treat acne vulgaris internally, directly targeting the affected areas and reducing their severity and chances of future breakouts. There are several suitable choices for different cases, but doxycycline acne drug, stands out because of its effectiveness.

What Is Doxycycline?

Doxycycline is a multi-use antibiotic, which is effective in treating inflammatory acne. Usually taken orally, this antibiotic is also prescribed when mild acne breakouts do not respond to other treatments, to prevent them from getting severe. An added convenience is, it helps in treating acne in areas that are difficult to reach for topical creams (Eg: back).

Also Read: Effective Treatments For Acne/Pimple

How Is Doxycycline Used By Dermatologists?

Doxycycline uses are vouched and prescribed in medicine, especially dermatology. While the antibiotic is mainly prescribed for acne vulgaris, it is also used for rosacea and other non-infectious inflammatory skin diseases. The typical length of the antibiotic course is between two weeks to several months.

How Does Doxycycline Treat Acne Vulgaris?

Tetracyclines (of which Doxycycline is a type) are the most commonly prescribed forms of oral antibiotics for acne treatment. Doxycycline helps control the spread of Propionibacterium Acnes, which is the bacteria responsible for causing acne. Additionally, the chemical makeup of doxycycline helps reduce inflammation and relieves the redness and swelling from extreme breakouts.
This medication will not help to treat non-inflammatory acne (eg: blackheads).

Also Read: Blackhead Removal Treatments For Face & Nose

How Do Dermatologists Choose A Candidate For Doxycycline Treatment?

Cases with severe acne outbreaks; like papules, postules, nodules and cycts can benefit from this treatment. When acne treatment becomes difficult with usual medicines, Doxycycline is prescribed by a doctor. Doxycycline must be taken only under the monitored guidance of a dermatologist as it has certain risks. It must not be given to some people with certain conditions:

  • Pregnant women cannot ingest this medication as it can harm the development of the fetus.
  • It should not be prescribed to children under the age of 8, as it can interfere with their growth and permanently discolour their teeth.
  • It must not be taken along with certain medicines. As allergies to tetracyclines will prevent the use of doxycycline for acne treatment, in which case an alternative and suitable antibiotic would be prescribed by the dermatologist.

What Is The Suggested Doxycycline Dosage For Acne?

Please note that not all methods, forms and dosages are listed here. Doxycycline is only to be taken under the supervision of a dermatologist who is familiar with your medical history. Incorrect usage can be hazardous to your health.
Typically, up to two doses are required per day with 50 to 100 mg of doxycycline in each dose. This amount is in conjunction with other acne medications (topical or otherwise) and will show results faster.
The medication is prescribed for a short amount of time, to avoid dependency and to reduce the chances of bacterial resistance. The treatment continues with just topical creams, prescribed by your dermatologist. However, severe cases of acne vulgaris require longer use of doxycycline to show results.

Also Read: Acne Vulgaris – Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

Is Doxycycline Available As A Generic Medicine?

There are some forms of Doxycycline that are available as an over-the-counter medicine in some areas due to its ability to treat a wide variety of medical conditions.
For acne treatment, the ideal strength and form of the medication can only be prescribed by a dermatologist or a medical professional. These dosages and courses are unique to each patient’s situation, and should not be experimented by non-medically trained individuals.

Should You Use Doxycycline Without Prescription?

No. Doxycycline can be hazardous, if wrong dosages are taken. It will aggravate any existing symptoms. The threatening bacteria will build a resistance to this medication, making future treatment extremely difficult. Only if your dermatologist prescribes, you must consume Doxycycline.

Potential Side Effects of Doxycycline And How To Prevent Them

Doxycycline can be a potent antibiotic which may result in:

  • Skin Hyper-pigmentation – A dermatologist will avoid or counter this with appropriate treatments.
  • Upset stomach/Diarrhea – It is recommended to take it with a meal.
  • Indigestion/Nausea – Can cause a heartburn-type discomfort. Hydrate while taking the medication and avoid lying down for 30 to 60 minutes.
  • Light Sensitivity – Your skin is more prone to sunburn. Apply sunscreen to help protect your skin.
  • Sore Mouth – In some cases, ulcers can also develop. Check with your dermatologist for prevention.

While doxycycline is an effective treatment for acne vulgaris, it can be a double-edged sword. The most effective way to avoid building a resistance, managing the spread of acne and staying within safe parameters is to take it only under the guidance of a certified and experienced dermatologist. Soon enough, you can be acne-free.

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About The Author

Kushneet Kukreja

Kushneet Kukreja

A postgraduate in Biotechnology from Kingston University and an ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition, Kushneet Kukreja is a passionate writer who works in close association with the dermatologists at our head office to generate valuable and scientifically accurate content for our blog.


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