Are Oral Acne Medications Putting Your Health at Risk?

Acne can cause pain. Both in the literal and figurative sense. Many people find it hard to have high self-confidence when they have acne especially on the face. Fortunately there is a multitude of acne treatments available be it over-the-counter or prescription products.

People suffering from acne are willing to spend money on these treatments in hopes of achieving a clear complexion. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, a 2005 study revealed that over 2 billion dollars is spent on treatment for acne. This includes the cost for both prescription and over the counter anti-acne products.

Oral acne medications are effective treatment as they address the very root of this skin issue. This is the reason why oral medications for acne are quite popular. However, are there any unwanted risks associated with them? Let’s find out.

Antibiotics for Acne

Short-course oral antibiotics are usually recommended for cases of moderate to severe acne. These oral antibiotics reduce bacteria and help bring down inflammation. Some of these oral antibiotics for acne can cause stomach upset which is why it is usually recommended to take these antibiotics on a full stomach. Some are also known to cause sun sensitivities. The biggest risk in taking these antibiotics is the possibility of developing resistance to antibiotics which is the reason why these treatments are recommended for only a short-time use; at most 3-4 months. They also can reduce the effectiveness of oral contraceptives. It is always best to inform your doctor if you are taking these antibiotics for acne.

Isotretinoin for Acne

One may need to resort to Isotretinoin for deep cysts. Isotretinoin is a potent medication used for acne and scarring cystic acne that is not responding to other treatments. In 2009, accutane which was a common form of Isotretinoin was removed from the market because of the controversy surrounding mental health issues linked with the drug. Dermatologists usually reserve the use of this drug for patients who have tried other medications and no progress was observed. Improvement is usually observed after one course and after about four months of using Isotretinoin, acne is resolved. Dermatologists advice caution in using this potent drug.

Some of the unpleasant side effects of isotretinoin are sun sensitivity, anxiety, and severe birth defects. This is the reason why dermatologists evaluate their patients really carefully before prescribing this drug. It is also a practice for doctors to stay alert and recommend once a month blood work to ensure that the medication is not hurting the liver of the patient.

Oral Contraceptives for Acne

Oral contraceptives are also used to treat and prevent acne. The hormonal component of oral contraceptives makes the sebacious glands (glands that create sebum) smaller therefore preventing overproduction of sebum which can lead to acne.

Side effects of taking oral contraceptives include headaches, tenderness of the breast, nausea as well as depression.

Before using these oral medications for acne, it is best to consult your dermatologist first.

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