Antibiotics are medicines that kill bacteria. Bacteria can cause some skin problems or conditions, such as impetigo. They can also lead to problems like acne. There are many types of antibiotics. Each works a little differently and acts on different types of bacteria. Your doctor will decide which medicine will work best for you.
You can put an antibiotic ointment or cream on your skin. Or you can take pills by mouth to kill bacteria in your skin pores.
Antibiotics are not used to treat skin problems that are caused by viruses or allergies. But sometimes bacteria get into a skin problem you already have. Then you may need this medicine.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Many people do not have side effects from antibiotics. But sometimes people have problems, such as:
If the side effects bother you, ask your doctor if there is another antibiotic that will work as well but will not cause these effects.
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter C829 in the search box to learn more about "Antibiotics for Skin Conditions: Care Instructions."
Current as of:
October 13, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Ellen K. Roh, MD - Dermatology
© 2006-2017 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.