Acne and rosacea compromise a substantial portion of the dermatology clinical practice. Over the past century, many treatment modalities have been introduced with antibiotics playing a major role. Today, both oral and topical antibiotics are used in the management of acne and rosacea, with several novel formulations and/or combination regimens recently introduced. The latest studies suggest anti-inflammatory actions to be the most likely mechanism of antibiotics in acne and rosacea, shifting the focus to subantimicrobial-dose oral antibiotics and/or topical antibiotic regimens as the preferred first-line agents. Here we will discuss the most recent oral and topical antibiotic therapies available for treatment of acne and rosacea, with special focus on efficacy data, indication, dosing, and mechanism of action.
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