How does Oxytetracycline work for acne?

10th June 2019

Despite being very closely associated with teenagers going through puberty, acne is actually extremely common among adults of all ages and is estimated to affect about 1 in 5 of all adults, although most people will encounter very mild forms of acne at some point in their life.

Acne is not by any means a dangerous condition and does not usually cause sufferers a great deal of pain (although it’s not uncommon to get the occasional painful spot). However, because the condition is so visible and usually affects people’s faces, it can lead to embarrassment and self-esteem issues. For this reason, most people seek treatment with medicine such as Oxytetracycline for their acne rather than to leave it.

How do I treat acne?

There are a number of treatment options for those who suffer with acne and it’s all about finding one that works for you. There isn’t really a blanket fix or catch-all, unfortunately; a treatment that works perfectly for one person may have no effect at all on another. For this reason, most acne sufferers find that they have to go through a trial and error approach before finding a treatment that works for them.


As with a lot of other skin conditions (eczema, rosacea), a doctor will usually advise a topical approach to begin with.

One option is a topical retinoid, which is derived from vitamin A and work by reducing the keratinisation of the skin cells. They remove dead skin cells from the skin surface and helps to prevent clogging of the hair follicles (a leading cause of acne).

Azelaic acid is another common treatment for acne as it has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. The acid can help to clean bacteria from your pores which not only helps to clear up your current outbreak, but can also reduce your chances of having another in the future.

Another thing with antimicrobial properties is topical antibiotics, which are another form of cream or gel used to treat acne. These solutions work to kill bacteria on the skin and help to prevent build-ups of anything causing spots.


For those people who haven’t suited creams or would simply rather to take oral tablets, there are a few options there too. For women suffering from acne, there a few contraceptive pills that also work as an effective acne treatment. These pills (such as Clairette and Dianette) contain anti-androgens, which counteract the function of androgens. These hormones are responsible for the amount of oil on our skin and if they are working over-actively then the build-up of oil could block your pores and cause spots.

As effective as antibiotic creams and gels are, antibiotic tablets work in exactly the same way, by targeting the spot-causing bacteria and killing them to help clear up your skin.

For particularly severe cases of acne that haven’t responded well to other treatment options, your doctor may prescribe isotretinoin tablets. However, these can have serious side effects so they are usually only used when absolutely necessary.

How does Oxytetracycline work for acne?

A common oral antibiotic used for acne is Oxytetracycline, which is a broad-spectrum tetracycline antibiotic. This means that the drug inhibits the bacteria’s ability to grow and multiply and keeps any infection at bay.