Whether it is mild, moderate or severe acne that an adult suffers from; whether it is restricted to the face or is found to be present at other places such as the chest and back, or whether it is comedonal or inflammatory acne determines the kind of oral medication that will help solve the problem:
1. Accutane or Isotretinoin has long been known as the gold standard for treating severe acne. However, this is to be used only under guidance of a medical practitioner and upon prescription.
Originally developed to treat certain types of cancers, because of its ability to kill rapidly dividing cells, it is known to have several adverse effects, many of them quite serious.
2. Contraceptive pills can seem to miraculously clear up skin for women because they contain hormones that help to reduce the production of sebum.
It is excess sebum (oil secreted by the skin) that is responsible for many acne outbreaks. This is the reason many women find their acne outbreaks are worse at some times of the month.
3. Oral Antibiotics can help to deal with acne. However, there are many different types of antibiotics that will target different type of acne; a doctor, particularly a dermatologist is the best person to prescribe what is appropriate.
Doxycycline for instance works by inhibiting bacterial growth of some types. It is good for inflamed acne breakouts and not those that are causes by clogged pores.
It will not help with whiteheads or blackheads. There are also side effects of Doxycycline, and it is not meant for use by young children.
4. Minocycline or Solodyn is extended release medication also taken orally. The strength prescribed depends upon a person’s weight or size. This formulation again will not help with black heads and white heads; it is suitable for inflammatory pimples (red, pus filled papules). This also has side effects and is unsuitable for kids below 12. There may be other antibiotics such as Erythromycin and Tetracycline prescribed, and sometimes in conjunction with topical applications.
5. Sometimes anti androgens could be prescribed to treat acne by inhibiting the production of sebum. They cause the sebaceous glands to produce less sebum, which consequently results in fewer incidences of acne.
It must be mentioned here, that acne can be very difficult to live with but self medication is not recommended for its treatment. Many of the oral medications and topical applications can have side effects; some rather serious. So it is best to take acne medication under supervision.