If you have acne and it's not responding to treatment with medicated products from the drug store, it may be time to get a more effective treatment from a dermatologist. The topical cream Zineryt, which contains the antibiotic erythromycin along with zinc acetate, may help clear up your skin. Zineryt isn't sold in the United States but is available in many other countries, including the United Kingdom.
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It isn't clear why most people get acne, but Mayo Clinic dermatologists say heredity, hormones and even certain medications can play a role. In acne, extra oil made by your skin forms pliable plugs in your hair follicles, causing those follicles to swell. Bacteria, which always live on and in your skin, then gain an opportunity to reproduce too fast in those plugged hair follicles, contributing to the inflammation and infection.
Zineryt treats the bacterial infection present in most bad acne cases, according to NetDoctor. Its active antibiotic ingredient, erythromycin, doesn't actually kill the bacteria. Instead, it prevents the organisms from producing proteins they need to reproduce. This makes it easier for your own body's immune system to kill the bacteria, which eventually begins to clear up your acne. Zinc acetate, the other active ingredient in Zineryt, helps the skin absorb more of the erythromycin.
Most people use Zineryt twice a day for up to three months, applying it over their entire acne-affected area. The medication has potential side effects. Fewer than 1 percent of people experience skin effects such as burning, itching and peeling. Users might also see some temporary skin reddening from the medication. Very rarely, someone using Zineryt experiences a severe allergic reaction, according to NetDoctor.
Zineryt works effectively to treat acne, although it does not clear all acne lesions, medical research shows. In a study led by Dr. A. Langner and reported in the March 2007 edition of the Journal of European Dermatology and Venereology, researchers examined 75 patients treated with Zineryt twice a day over 12 weeks. By the end of the study period, acne lesions had fallen by two-thirds in the group using Zineryt.
Regardless of which treatment you and your dermatologist choose for your acne, you won't succeed in your treatment unless you also care for your skin properly, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. It's very important not to scrub your skin, which can contribute to acne-related irritation. Instead, use a gentle cleanser recommended for acne-prone skin, and wash your skin no more than once or twice each day for best results, the AAD says.