Tetracycline ointment for acne on the face. Instructions for use, photos, reviews, price

Tetracycline was isolated in 1945, the first clinical trials of this substance date back to 1948. In modern medicine, it is prescribed both for oral administration and for external use in acne ointments or eye diseases.

Description of the drug

Tetracycline is highly active against most gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, can affect some protozoa at a high concentration, and is practically harmless to molds and acid-resistant bacteria.

In the treatment of skin and eye infections, tetracycline ointment is used, for acne – with a concentration of 3%, in ophthalmology – 1%. For oral administration, it is produced mainly in the form of coated tablets in a dosage of 100 mg.

What is a part of tetracycline ointment

In dermatology for external use, it is used in the form of a 3% ointment containing:

  • The active ingredient of tetracycline hydrochloride in its pure form is a crystalline yellow powder, odorless and with a bitter taste, poorly soluble in water and difficult to alcohol. It has antimicrobial and bacteriostatic effects;
  • Auxiliary components:
    • Lanolin – is of animal origin, is produced by the sebaceous glands of sheep, has a complex composition in the form of a mixture of fatty acids with high molecular weight, is close to the secret of human sebaceous glands, is easily absorbed into the skin, acting on it soothingly;
    • Paraffin is inert to many chem. reagents a low-viscosity substance of white color, during oxidation form synthetic fatty acids used instead of natural ones, including in cosmetology and pharmaceuticals; Tetracycline ointment for acne on the face. Instructions for use, photos, reviews, price
    • Ceresin is a tasteless, waxy, odorless substance from white to brown, insoluble in water, used as a thickener in the manufacture of various cosmetics; Tetracycline ointment for acne on the face. Instructions for use, photos, reviews, price
    • Petroleum jelly is a tasteless, odorless, oily, jelly-like liquid, purified almost transparent, with incomplete cleaning, its color changes from black to yellow. It mixes well with oils and does not dissolve in alcohol and water. It is used as a fat base in creams, softens the skin and has a protective effect due to the formation of a film on the surface of the skin.

The effect of ointment on the skin

When applied to an acne, the ointment dries it gallon for several hours, while healthy skin does not dry out – the effect is achieved due to the antibacterial effect, and not due to the presence of alkaloids, alcohols or other dehydrating elements. Tetracycline ointment for acne on the face. Instructions for use, photos, reviews, price

Tetracycline in the form of an ointment is used to treat acne precisely because of its ability to disrupt the synthesis of proteins in bacterial cells, since the cause of their appearance on the skin is most often “unfriendly” microorganisms.

The therapeutic properties of this drug are manifested in relation to infectious infections caused by bacteria, both gram-positive and gram-negative.


Tetracycline ointment has the following advantages:

  • Convenient frequency of application (morning and evening);
  • Affordable price in comparison with other drugs of similar action;
  • A simple application for treatment;
  • Efficiency of use from many types of rashes;
  • Variability of methods of treatment (you can not smear, but use a bandage);

Drug shortcomings

The imperfections of the tool include:

  • Often causes allergic reactions;
  • It can not be used during pregnancy;
  • Until completely absorbed into the skin, it appears under ultraviolet light bright yellow;
  • There are side effects.

Indications for use of ointment

Tetracycline ointment is applicable in case of such dermatological diseases as: Tetracycline ointment for acne on the face. Instructions for use, photos, reviews, price

  • furunculosis,
  • infections with purulent productive exudation,
  • trophic ulcers,
  • acne
  • acne,
  • folliculitis
  • eczema with an attached infection,
  • streptococcal dermatitis.


Like any other antimicrobial antibiotic medicine, tetracycline affects not only pathological microorganisms, which means that its use can have negative consequences.

Critical contraindications:

  • mycoses;
  • severe forms of liver damage;
  • renal failure;
  • systemic disorders in the work of the biliary tract;
  • age up to 11 years;
  • individual intolerance;
  • not applicable for areas with burns or deep wounds;
  • pregnancy and lactation;
  • allergic reaction.

Adverse reactions to the action of the drug

Tetracycline is a fairly aggressive substance and its external use can cause negative reactions in the form of:

  • redness of the skin;
  • burning sensation, itching;
  • swelling;
  • irritation of the skin;
  • rarely: nausea and loss of appetite;
  • with prolonged use, it is possible to develop increased sensitivity to sunlight, thrush.

Rules for the use of acne ointments

Acne tetracycline ointment is used in two ways: directly on the lesions or using a gauze dressing

In any case, you must follow these rules:

  • Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap before starting the procedure;
  • Apply ointment only to previously cleansed skin;
  • The tool should completely cover the lesions with the capture of a small part of a healthy epidermis to prevent the spread of infection, spot application is ineffective; Tetracycline ointment for acne on the face. Instructions for use, photos, reviews, price
  • If necessary, carry out hygienic and other procedures (shaving, use of makeup) no earlier than 30 minutes after ointment treatment of the problem area of the skin.

If the ointment is applied directly to the skin, then the treatment should be repeated 2-3 times a day. In the case when applications are used on gauze, the dressing can be changed once a day or every 12 hours – in the morning and in the evening. With regular use, on average, a positive effect becomes noticeable within a month.

The duration of the treatment course is individual for each particular case and, depending on the nature and severity of the disease, can last from 2-3 days to several months.

Allergy check

Tetracycline is a fairly strong allergen, and acne ointment is no exception. Therefore, before starting treatment, you need to check how the skin reacts to the drug.

For this:

  • Clean the skin area of 1’2 – 2 inch on the back of the wrist;
  • Apply ointment to the prepared area with a thin layer; Tetracycline ointment for acne on the face. Instructions for use, photos, reviews, price
  • Wait – the reaction may occur within a period of 10 minutes to half an hour;
  • If during this time redness, itching, dryness did not appear on the test site, the remedy can be used, there is no allergy.

Use during pregnancy and lactation

Tetracycline is dangerous for children under 11 years of age, therefore, the use of this drug or its derivatives (including ointment) by women during breastfeeding is strictly prohibited. This substance has the ability to bond with calcium, which is safe for adults, but can cause serious damage to the developing body.

For this reason, it is not used during pregnancy – if it gets into the bloodstream of the fetus with the mother’s blood, tetracycline can lead to violations in the development and formation of the child’s bone tissue.

Precautions While Using Ointment

Standard safety measures when using the drug as an antibiotic:

  • Do not use if there are contraindications;
  • Exclude allergic reactions;
  • Do not exceed the recommended dose;
  • Avoid contact with mucous membranes and eyes.

Absorbing into the skin, tetracycline ointment gives it a yellowish tint, almost invisible to the naked eye , but clearly visible in the light of ultraviolet lamps. If the medicinal product is applied next to the hairline and on the scalp, the hair at the roots, in places of contact with the ointment will be dyed yellow. Tetracycline ointment for acne on the face. Instructions for use, photos, reviews, price

The substances that form the basis of tetracycline ointment (paraffin, lanolin and petrolatum) consist mainly of fatty acids. The consequence of this is that when the drug enters the tissue, a greasy stain remains that is difficult to remove.

Additionally, when using tetracycline ointment, the following precautions should be taken:

  • With caution, use the product at the roots of the hair for natural blondes and those who lighten curls;
  • Do not apply the product on the skin on the eve of visiting nightclubs, discos and other institutions where you can get under ultraviolet light;
  • Avoid ointment contamination of clothing and bedding.

Interaction with other drugs

When taking tetracycline inside (in tablets), you can not simultaneously take funds with metal ions (magnesium, calcium, zinc and iron preparations).

Hypnotic and sedative drugs containing barbiturates reduce the antimicrobial activity of tetracycline, and the simultaneous administration of penicillin drugs leads to an antagonistic effect (complete inefficiency of both drugs).

Tetracycline ointment for acne on the face. Instructions for use, photos, reviews, price
Tetracycline ointment for acne on the face. Instructions for use, photos, reviews, price

The concentration of tetracycline in acne ointment is very small – only 3%, which virtually eliminates the possibility of the active component getting into the systemic circulation and negative interaction with other drugs.

For external use, tetracycline can be combined with corticosteroids or other drugs and substances to mitigate the aggressive effects of the antibiotic on the skin and reduce the risk of allergic reactions.

Acne face masks with tetracycline ointment

In order to enhance the positive effect of the use of tetracycline in the fight against acne, you can use it as a face mask, combining this antibiotic with other healthy skin products and preparations.

  • Clay mask for all skin types:

Mix half a glass of black clay with the same amount of water, add 15 g (volume of a tablespoon) of a tetracycline ointment. Beat the resulting mixture thoroughly. Apply to clean, dry skin 1-2 times a week. Keep from 15 to 25 minutes, rinse with warm water, apply a moisturizer or nourishing agent.

  • For oily skin:

Ointment and hydrogen peroxide mixed in equal parts, add the powder of baby powder to make a slurry. Apply only to problem areas for no longer than 15 minutes and no more than 1 time in 3 days. If acne is purulent, it is recommended to add a few drops of calendula alcohol tincture to this mixture. Tetracycline ointment for acne on the face. Instructions for use, photos, reviews, price

  • Universal talker for acne and “youthful” acne:

Add chloramphenicol to a tetracycline ointment (3 to 1), dilute the resulting mixture with a solution of boric or salicylic acid to obtain a liquid emulsion. Wipe your face at least 2 times a day. You can store the resulting solution for no more than 7 days in a cool, dark place.

The use of ointments for herpes

Herpes is a viral disease, but tetracycline ointment can significantly ease the course of the disease in combination with the use of antiviral agents (acyclovir) and some time after. Tetracycline ointment for acne on the face. Instructions for use, photos, reviews, price

This is due to the fact that, if the appearance of characteristic vesicles on the skin is due to the presence of a viral infection, then the increase in the area of the lesion is often associated with secondary bacterial infection of the weakened area.

To achieve an antibacterial effect, as well as preventing the spread of herpes and suppuration of wounds , a 3% tetracycline ointment should be applied to the affected area with a thick layer at least 3 times a day until complete recovery.

The opinion of doctors about the treatment of acne with tetracycline ointment

“Today, there are many less aggressive drugs similar to tetracycline in their action. Although they are more expensive, the number of possible side effects and the number of allergic reactions to their use are much lower.

Antibiotic drugs can reduce the growth rate of bacteria, but it is necessary to consider other causes of acne, but antibiotics cannot defeat it. At the same time, long-term antibiotic therapy entails a large number of potentially serious adverse reactions.

“Tetracycline treatment for acne is yesterday!” Says pediatric dermatologist Dr. Joan Tamburro, a practitioner in Ohio. 

In contrast, Debra Jaliman, MD and a dermatologist with private practice in Manhattan, believes that: “Although creams with benzene peroxide or salicylic acid are the first to be used against acne, in some cases only topical antibiotics can help, including drugs tetracycline series. Ho
wever, they should be appointed by a specialist. ”

How many experts – so many opinions. Some doctors continue to prescribe acne tetracycline ointment, as a reliable and affordable remedy tested over the years. Others, on the contrary, consider this treatment method to be outdated, preferring other drugs.

Preparations of a similar action

Tetracycline is not the only way to treat acne, and other external antibiotics are also used effectively to combat rashes. Such drugs as erythromycin and clindamycin are closest in action to tetracycline ointment.

Erythromycin , like tetracycline, disrupts protein synthesis inside a pathological cell, thereby stopping the growth of harmful bacteria. Tetracycline ointment for acne on the face. Instructions for use, photos, reviews, price

Clindamycin successfully counteracts staphylococci, anaerobic bacteria and has an antimicrobial effect.

The choice of funds for the treatment of acne and other rashes with an antibacterial effect, offered by the modern pharmaceutical industry is quite wide and is presented including such drugs as:

  • “Dalacin-gel” (active ingredient – clindamycin)
  • “Klindovit” (active substance – clindamycin)
  • “Zerkalin” (active ingredient – clindamycin)
  • “Zinerit” (the active substance is erythromycin)
  • “Fucidin” (the active substance is fusidic acid)
  • “Metrogil” (active ingredient – metronidazole)

Price table

Compared with other drugs for external use with a similar effect, tetracycline ointment still retains the lowest cost today.

Active ingredient Drug name price, usd.
tetracycline Tetracycline ointment, 3% 46
metronidazole Metrogil 247
clindamycin Klindovit 364
clindamycin Zerkalin 414
fusidic acid Fucidin 538
erythromycin Zenerite 569
clindamycin Dalacin gel 779

On the one hand, the effectiveness of tetracycline ointment for external use in the fight against acne and purulent acne has been proven by many years of successful medical practice, the drug is affordable and easy to use. On the other hand, this is not an absolutely safe skin product. It should not be used without prior consultation with a dermatologist.

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