Acne can be treated with:
If these topical treatments fail, acne is treated next with oral antibiotics. However, these medications can have side effects. They are available only by prescription.
Some oral antibiotics can cause birth defects. Women on these antibiotics who are sexually active must use contraception. They need to make absolutely sure they do not become pregnant either during treatment or for one month after treatment.
In severe cases, oral isotretinoin may be considered. This medication can be very effective but can also cause serious side effects including severe birth defects. Strict protocols must be followed. Monthly appointments with the treating doctor must be kept throughout the treatment period to monitor for any side effects. In females of child-bearing age, protocol includes two forms of birth control. The treatment period is usually five months.
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