ZocdocAnswersWhy did my dermatologist give me Retin A then Bactrim DS?

Question

Why did my dermatologist give me Retin A then Bactrim DS?

I just wanted to know if Bactrim has anything to do with preventing acne or if it helps the Retin A. Also I have nothing wrong with me that Bactrim treats.

Answer

While it is certainly not a typical antibiotic that is used to treat acne, I imagine that your doctor is probably using the Bactrim to help the Retin A work better. Acne is caused by pores that get clogged with keratin and subsequently become a home for bacteria to grow. In some cases, the addition of an antibiotic can be helpful. Sometimes this antibiotic can be topical or it can be by mouth. The typical antibiotic that is used for acne is minocycline. Your doctor has chosen to use a slightly atypical antibiotic, it is not possible for me to know why. the Retin-A cream is there to help break down the keratin barrier for your pores and allow them to excrete the oils that they are designed to excrete. To better understand your doctors plan, I would suggest that you schedule an appointment with your dermatologist. It is important for the two of you to be on the same page regarding your treatment. If this combination of medications doesn't work, you need to discuss what the next step is. Some patients will require more intensive treatment such as the use of Accutane, which is an oral form of retinoid acid. Good luck.

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