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An antibiotic frequently prescribed to fight acne

In the event of a really serious acne infection, your doctor or dermatologist may prescribe minocycline or another antibiotic to treat your acne. Antibiotics help by eradicating the bacteria (our old friend P. acnes) that causes infection and inflammation in the pores.

But antibiotics have side effects as well. They kill the good bacteria as well as the bad bacteria, leaving your body lacking important microbes. Minocycline has a track record of having some considerable side effects, too. Also, over time, bacteria in your body can build up a tolerance to antibiotics -- and bacteria can share this immunity -- which is another excellent reason why not everyone who has acne is prescribed minocycline or other antibiotics.

Advantages of minocycline

Minocycline is a derivative of tetracycline that has been used as an anti-acne antibiotic for decades. It is especially good at clearing up pustular acne.

Minocycline should not be taken with food as this can inhibit absorption. Generally, doctors start a patient on 50-100 mg twice per day.

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Unfortunately, minocycline can have significant side effects. These can include dizziness, vomiting and nausea. Among those who take minocycline for long periods, there are reports of skin discoloration and even discoloration of the teeth!

Is minocycline right for me?

Because only a doctor can prescribe an antibiotic, you should visit your doctor and ask about minocycline or another antibiotic to treat your acne. Antibiotics aren't for everyone, and they aren't panaceas -- there are some significant side effects and drawbacks to antibiotics.

Regardless of whether or not you take antibiotics, you should incorporate an anti-acne regimen into your daily grooming to help keep your skin clean and clear.

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