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Am I taking the right treatment for acne?

Q: I am a 32 years old female suffering from acne. My dermatologist has prescribed these medicines as the part of the acne treatment – Crixon, Sotret, Glcomet and Bio-E. Am I on the right medication?

A:The treatment of acne depends on the cause (if any) and the severity. Also a "step-up" (i.e. if a medicine fails, then take the next one but not all together) approach is to be followed. Briefly, in mild acne one should use

  • Topical antibacterial/keratolytic agents such as benzoyl peroxide preparations, azelaic acid.
  • Topical antibiotics such as erythromycin, clarithromycin clindamycin or tetracycline.
  • Topical retinoid and related preparations such as tretinoin, isotretinoin. These can be used alone or in combination. In case of moderate acne, the treatment consists of oral antibiotics - tetracyclines, erythromycin, plus a topical preparation. An antibiotic should only be changed if there is no improvement after three months. In severe form of acne, if there is nodulocystic acne with scarring, then and only then should treatment with oral isotretinoin be considered. Crixan contains clarithromycin to be used by oral route. Sotret contains oral isotretinoin (with serious side effects in women of reproductive age), Glycomet contains metformin (normally used in diabetes but also in cases of female Polycystic Ovarian Disease). Bio E contains vitamin E.

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