Antibiotics - tetracyclines

Tetracyclines are a group of antibiotics commonly used for a variety of conditions including acne, rosacea and  hidradenitis suppurativa.

There are 4 tetracyclines used in Dermatology

  1. Oxytetracyline – problems with absorption require taking on an empty stomach.
  2. Doxycycline
  3. Lymecycline
  4. Minocycline- less commonly prescribed due to rare side effects such as skin pigmentation and triggering lupus

Antibiotics for acne are generally given for 3 months courses. This is little evidence to suggest that one of these antibiotics is better than the other. Each have their own rare side effects and some people tolerate one more than the other. If the acne or rosacea recurs the course needs to be treated. in acne, antibiotics do not have any effect on the blockages of the oil glands so should always be used with either a retinoid cream or benzoyl peroxide. If after 3 courses of different antibiotics no improvement is seen consideration should be given to a course of oral  isotretinoin.

When treating rosacea, a course of soolantra along with avoid  of triggers should always be tried before using antibiotics.


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