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treat severe acne

Treating Acne With Antibiotics Or Accutane: Everything You Need To Know

Severe acne is characterized by very large sebum secretion. As a result, sebaceous glands become frequently and continuously clogged. The danger is that this creates scar tissue, which is largely irreparable. For this reason, the heavier means can be used for the treatment of severe acne. Guidance from a dermatologist is common and all products for severe acne are only available with a prescription.
An effective treatment for severe acne is taking antibiotics. Antibiotics reduce the number of bacteria and help to heal the inflammation. The disadvantage is that the effect of antibiotics is often only really visible after 1 to 2 months.


External antibiotics

Erythromycin: Antibiotics where the first effects are already visible after 2 weeks. May also be used during pregnancy. The downside is that it sometimes leads to skin irritation. Available in both "dep bottle" and gel.

Clindamycin: Antibiotics where the first effects are already visible after 2 weeks. Allowed CANNOT be used during pregnancy. This product can also cause skin irritations. Only available in “dep bottle”.

External antibiotics are used less and less, because bacteria are becoming increasingly insensitive to them.


Oral antibiotics

There are various oral antibiotics. Note, these are often powerful acne medications that can cause side effects. The oral antibiotics work on two fronts, they inhibit bacterial growth and inflammation. The most commonly used oral antibiotics are tetracycline and minocycline. The possible side effects of oral antibiotics include:

  • Risk of allergy or hypersensitivity to the relevant antibiotic
  • A disturbance of the bacterial flora, which can cause stomach and intestinal complaints
  • Hypersensitivity to sunlight
  • More chance of candida infection
  • Contraceptive pill less reliable due to antibiotics



A real horse remedy is isotretinoin. This product inhibits both sebum production and bacteria that cause inflammation. The good news about this product is that after about 6 months of treatment, the acne is pretty much gone and usually never comes back.

Unfortunately, the side effects can also be significant. When using this medicine, it is often necessary for a doctor to check your blood levels. Certain types of fat can increase to unhealthy levels by using this product. It is therefore wise to avoid fatty foods during such a cure.

Isotretinoin should not be used during pregnancy or breast-feeding, this drug is so strong that it can lead to malformations in unborn children. The pill also becomes less reliable when using this drug. So beware of unwanted pregnancy.

Another point to watch out for. This medicine must not be combined with antibiotics from the tetracycline group (tetracycline, doxycycline, minocycline).

Are you a blood donor? Then you are not allowed to donate blood during your treatment and up to 1 month afterwards.

Other side effects from isotretinoin:

  • Dry lips. This side effect almost always occurs in almost everyone. Use a cream to keep the lips oily and avoid direct sun.
  • Dry skin is common. Use a cream for your skin, but don't put it on your face, this could make the acne worse.
  • Dry eyes are common. This is especially true for people with contact lenses. Use eye drops.
  • Hypersensitivity to sunlight is quite common. Avoid bright sun.
  • The acne symptoms can temporarily worsen during the first weeks of the course.
  • Negative influence on mood, sometimes leading to depression. This rarely happens.
  • Lipid concentration in blood can increase, important not to eat fatty foods.
  • Night blindness (rare)
  • Joint and muscle pain (rare)
  • Inflammation of the nail walls (quite rare)
  • For a complete list of possible side effects, please consult your doctor and read the package leaflet.

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