There are two methods to use erythromycin for acne treatment, including as an oral antibiotic or as a topical gel or cream. Erythromycin is an antibiotic known to affect and kill the excess bacteria responsible for the acne vulgaris infection, as well as for keeping the normal skin bacteria within healthy ranges. Doctors and dermatologists commonly prescribe this medication in one of its form for patients that have a long history of serious acne problems and for cases in which other medications and treatments have proven ineffective. Acne is most often the result of an overproduction of sebum, or naturally occurring skin oil, clogging the skin pores and often becoming infected due to exposure to bacteria. It is important to understand the role antibiotics play in acne treatment, as well as the effects of oral and topical erythromycin.
Several antibiotics, such as erythromycin, can be used to treat acne in people of all ages, though doctors often choose other treatment options for young children. When using erythromycin for acne, the medication is very effective for reducing the inflammatory reaction of the skin and acne lesions, decreasing the amount of bacteria found near and in the skin follicle, and reducing the fatty acid content of the sebum. All of these functions are extraordinarily useful in controlling and eliminating severe acne conditions. Both the oral and the topical forms of erythromycin are able to produce these results.
Using the oral version of erythromycin for acne treatment is a popular choice for dermatologists and patients alike and is thought to be very effective, even more so than some of the other antibiotic choices. Oral erythromycin is most often prescribed in doses measuring 250 to 500 mg and is normally taken twice a day. As with most other oral antibiotics, this medication should be taken with food to reduce the possibility of stomach upset.
Topical erythromycin for acne preparations are frequently prescribed as well, and are applied directly to the affected skin as directed by the prescribing physician. It offers the same therapeutic benefits as the oral version and is considered to be more convenient by some patients. While effective for most acne sufferers, topical erythromycin can produce a burning sensation of the skin as well as peeling and drying for those with sensitive skin. Patients experiencing adverse side effects should consult their doctor or dermatologist for advice on how best to proceed with treatment.