Prescription Medications For Acne

If over-the-counter acne treatments are not clearing up your acne, you may want to consult a healthcare provider about stronger prescription medications for acne. These prescription acne medications can include retinoids, benzoyl peroxide products and antibiotics.

Topical Acne Medication

In some cases, prescription acne medication is applied to the skin. These medications include:

  • Antibiotics. Antibiotic ointments kill bacteria and reduce inflammation. Usually used for mild to moderate acne, topical antibiotics include clindamycin, erythromycin, and sodium sulfacetamide.
  • Benzoyl peroxide products. Benzoyl peroxide is common in over-the-counter acne medication but is also available in stronger, prescription benzoyl peroxide products. Benzoyl peroxide products kill acne-causing bacteria and remove dead cells from the skin.
  • Retinoids. Topical retinoid medications are vitamin A derivatives that work by unclogging pores and reducing inflammation. These products include tretinoin (Avita