If you're a teenager or even an adult with bad acne, you've probably spent some time looking for an effective treatment. Over-the-counter remedies can help clear milder acne, but worse cases often call for professional assistance from a dermatologist. Your dermatologist may give you a prescription for lymecycline, a type of antibiotic that's been shown to effectively treat some cases of acne.
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When you have acne, it's likely because of three factors. First, your skin produces too much oil. Second, that oil clogs your pores. And third, bacteria have begun to grow and reproduce in those clogged pores, forming infected acne lesions. Lymecycline, a form of tetracycline antibiotic, treats the bacterial infection in acne.
If your dermatologist prescribes lymecycline for your acne, you may start with a dose of 500 mg up to 1000 mg per day, or perhaps even higher if your acne is especially severe. This should begin to produce visible results in a few weeks, assuming the medication works for you. Because many strains of acne-causing bacteria are resistant to the most commonly used antibiotics, your acne may not respond at all to lymecycline, and you'll have to try another product.
If your acne does respond to lymecycline treatment, research shows you'll probably see about half to two-thirds of your acne lesions dissipate. In one study, reported in 2003 in the European Journal of Dermatology, 136 patients took either lymecycline or minocycline, another commonly used antibiotic for acne. After 12 weeks, the lymecycline group saw about a 63 percent reduction in their inflected acne lesions and a 58 percent reduction in their non-infected lesions. The minocycline group achieved slightly better results for their infected lesions and slightly worse results for non-infected lesions.
Newer forms of lymecycline that allow once-per-day dosing potentially can help patients take their medications more regularly, making them more effective, another research study concluded. In this study, also published in 2003 in the European Journal of Dermatology, patients received either 300 mg of lymecycline once per day or 150 mg twice a day for 12 weeks. The study reported that the once-per-day lymecycline formulation was just as effective as the older, more frequent dosing schedule.
Lymecycline, like other tetracycline antibiotics, can permanently discolor your teeth if you take it at too young an age, so children younger than eight and pregnant women shouldn't take lymecycline. The medication also can make you more sensitive to the sun, so avoid sun exposure, wear sunscreen and don't use tanning beds while taking lymecycline. More serious reactions can include dizziness and blurred vision or allergic reactions involving hives and swelling. If you experience any of these, contact your physician immediately.