OTC Acne Treatments as Good as Prescribed Antibiotics

OTC Acne Treatments as Good as Prescribed Antibiotics
Published Online: Tuesday, February 1, 2005

OTC acne treatments have been shown to be just as effective as more expensive prescription antibiotics for the treatment of mild-to-moderate facial acne, according to a recent British study. In a randomized trial of 650 participants, researchers from the University of Nottingham and Leeds compared 5 different treatments for acne: oxytetracycline and minocycline (both oral antibiotics), erythromycin (topical antibiotic), benzoyl peroxide (antimicrobial lotion), or a combination of erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide.

The results showed that the least expensive treatment (benzoyl peroxide) was 12 times more cost-effective than minocycline. Antibiotics have been used to treat acne for more than 40 years, but growing concern about antibiotic resistance has led researchers to consider other options for acne treatment.

Ms. Farley is a freelance medical writer based in Wakefield, RI.

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