Treatment applied to the skin
Patients with mild acne usually respond well to topical treatments. These include sulphur and resorcinol preparations (e.g. acne clear cream and lotion), benzoyl peroxide containing preparations, antibiotics (erythromycin and clindamycin gel and lotions) and vitamin A derived creams or gels (adapalene and tretinoin).
If your acne becomes worse and you have a lot of inflamed spots, topical treatment alone may not be adequate. Your dermatologist will probably prescribe antibiotic tablets, such as doxycycline, erythromycin, minocycline and cotrimoxazole.
For severe acne
In very serious cases who do not respond to the above treatment, or in cases of severe nodulocystic acne, a tablet called isotretinoin may be given. This medication may give rise to side effects such as dry skin, cracked lips and body ache. The most serious being damage to the unborn baby if taken during pregnancy, hence it is important for women of child-bearing age to practice strict contraception while on therapy.