How to Use Doxycycline to Get Rid of Acne

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Bottle of antibiotics spilled out on table. (Image: Tzido/iStock/Getty Images)

Doxycycline is an antibiotic that treats bacterial infection. The drug can also be used to get rid of acne and acne-like rashes that are associated with rosacea. Doxycycline is not for everyone; consult your physician to determine if you are an ideal candidate for using doxycycline or other systemic medications to treat moderate to severe acne.

Step 1

Make an appointment with your dermatologist or primary care physician to determine if doxycycline can help clear up your acne. The American Academy of Dermatology reports that oral medications such as doxycycline are usually reserved for cases of acne that cover a large area of your body, not just your face. However, you may be an ideal candidate for the medication if you have tried topical creams and ointments on facial acne and have failed to see an improvement in your condition.

Step 2

Take your medication as directed by your doctor, will a full glass of water to avoid throat irritation. You may take doxycycline with a small snack or milk to prevent an upset stomach. The March 2003 issue of Journal Watch Dermatology reports that 100 to 200 mg of doxycycline, split into two daily doses, has a positive effect on acne when taken for several months at a time.

Step 3

Get blood drawn routinely while you take doxycycline, to check your kidney function. MayoClinic.com explains that some people, especially those with a history of kidney disease, may develop impaired kidney function as a side effect of the drug.

Step 4

Protect yourself from the sun while taking doxycycline, as the medication can increase your risk of sunburn. Wear sunscreen and other protective gear and limit yourself to direct sun exposure.

Step 5

Continue to use doxycycline and any topical treatments your doctor has prescribed, even as you see your skin begin to improve. Systemic drugs used to get rid of acne may take up to six months to clear your skin as fully as possible.

Things You'll Need

  • Water

  • Sunscreen

  • Blood tests

  • Barrier birth control

Warning

Pregnant women should not use doxycycline, as the medication could harm an unborn fetus, according to MayoClinic.com. Children under 8 years old should not take the doxycycline; the drug could stunt their bone growth and cause a permanent discoloration to their teeth.

Women who use doxycycline and take oral contraceptives should also use a barrier form of birth control, as the antibiotic could cause birth control pills to be less effective.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
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