Oral Antibiotic
1734 Reviews
Oral Antibiotic
Based on All Available Studies
Strength of Evidence
Note: Should never be used on its own and for a maximum of 3 months.
Oral Antibiotic
Side Effects
Oral Antibiotic
Acne.org’s Real World Take
Antibiotics should be used for a maximum of 3 months, provide only moderate benefit and only to some people, and may lead to side effects and strains of resistant bacteria. Studies do show doxycycline can reduce severe acne in the short term, and as far as oral antibiotics are concerned, it’s usually the go-to, but approach with caution and stay your own advocate.
Oral Antibiotic
How to Get It
Have a dermatologist? Make an appointment to get this medication. Don't have a dermatologist? See The American Academy of Dermatology Physician Database to find one.
Read All About Doxycycline
Compare To Other Treatments

Used Doxycycline? Rate It:

Choose from 1 to 5 stars
February 22, 2023
Not the best treatment
Barely cleared my acne. Once I got off it I immediately got a breakout.
October 5, 2020
No funcionó para mi

Durante julio comence un tratamiento contra el acné (leve a moderado), la dermatologa me recetó 100mg de doxicilina por día, y un tratamiento tópico de adapleno 3 veces por semanas.  Al principio sentía que si me estaba funcionando, de hecho redujo la inflamación de mis lesiones.  el primer mes me llene de granos gigantes, eran muy dolorosos y mi piel estaba muy sensible, pensé que estaba en la fase de purga, de la que la mayoría de las personas hablaban. sin importar seguí con el tratamiento y mi piel se puso aun peor. Ya en el segundo mes comence a tener dolores de estomago y se hicieron mas frecuentes, mi piel seguia igual, se supone que el tratamiento era por 3 meses, ya cumpli los tres meses pero no veo ninguna mejora, de hecho siento que me dejo peor mi piel en comparación a omo estaba en el inicio. 



February 13, 2020

I wanted to write this review as you hear so many negatives on this site. A short background, acne since 12. Male. Tried minocycline that worked for approx 1year but had side effects. Went onto doxy at the beginning of December. Acne got worse. Waaaay worse. Kept taking 100mg a day (50 am, 50 pm ) everyday. Whiteheads kept forming. Scares seemed to take longer to heal. Hit 9 weeks and slowly less whiteheads (smaller in size) by week 10 scares started to fade. Week 11 - suddenly seems to be clearing. I think it’s a case of sticking with it as it works so slowly. Derm said deep cystic acne take 3 months to form so treatment takes the same time to heal. The plan is to reduce the dose over the next 3 months. Other changes are lots of water and fruit. Less milk and dairy. Advice: stick with it!

June 29, 2019
still have zits :(

I have been prescribed this countless times over the four year course that I've had acne. This medication has not been successful in clearing my skin. Each time I have been prescribed this it was a three month trial. 

Other things to note are: that you CAN NOT take this while on Accutane. I had gotten an infection while at the beach and my Doc almost prescribed this while on Accutane. Huge hassle!

April 22, 2019
Didn't work for me

I had this treatment for cystic acne, but it didn't do anything for me unfortunately.

This Was Helpful

1 user(s) found this helpful

September 19, 2020

years without any results except stomach problems

February 9, 2019
This Ain't It Chief

I was on this for 5 months and it did not clear me up. It gradually made me stop breaking out as frequently, but by the time that happened my dermatologist wanted to take me off of it. After that, my acne became worse and more resistant-- which makes sense now that I think about it :smileys_n_people_30: It kills the bacteria except for the resistant strains so after you finish the course, all you're left with is the resistant strain to break you out. This could be a good short term solution to give your skin a break to heal.. but if you don't see quicker results then it is not worth it to stay on it. 

January 15, 2019
hell no

all I gotta say...... is hell no. it rlly messed up my face and left a billion red marks up on me like wtf pill!!!!

January 2, 2019
It's working so far!

I'm writing this review on Doxycyline because after 4 years of trying to cure my on and off cystic acne naturally or with only topical treatments, it has been the only thing to actually help so far. I've tried so many topical treatments as well as natural treatments for my skin. I was insistent on curing it without any pills. I became vegetarian for 2 years, constantly exercised, ate sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, but nothing would completely clear my painful acne. My self-esteem went down and I found myself in situations where I did not want to leave my house. My whole life I've had very clear skin, except for the hormonal once a month zit. When I turned 18, my face began breaking out with small pimples. Skip to 4 years later and I have continued to break out on and off again with pretty bad cystic break outs and then my skin would be clear for a few weeks - then I would break out again. However, over the past 6 months, I had a mostly pimple-free face except that my face was super congested under the surface. I had small milia-like bumps that would not go away no matter what I tried. When I put on make-up, my skin was extremely bumpy and textured. I exfoliated, drank lots of water, tried several different products, cut dairy out and other unhealthy foods - but nothing worked. One day I was surfing the web and came across Retin-A (tretinoin). I started using it and within the first week, all of the bumps under my face surfaced and became these huge, cystic, pus-filled, RAGING pimples all over my cheeks, chin, and jawline. I read about the initial purging stage of tretinoin but I did not expect it to feel like a volcano erupted on my face. After breaking out with at least 2 new cystic pimples everyday for 10 days, I went to a dermatologist and he recommended pairing the tretinoin with Doxycycline. Long story short, I continued breaking out terribly for 2 weeks. During the first 14 days of Doxycyline, I kid you not, I did not leave my house AT ALL. I know this sounds extreme but my acne was THAT bad. By this point, I had at least 35 active pimples all over my face (except my forehead) and I could barely wash my face. I was literally just sitting in my house waiting for the doxycycline to kick in and clear up my face. Thankfully, by the 23rd day of persisting with Doxycyline, the left side of my face was completely smooth and all the small bumps underneath had gone. Yesterday marks 1 month on Doxycyclin and 1 month/10 days on tretinoin and all I am left with are a few tiiiiiny pimples on my right cheek and severe hyperpigmentation. However, my face has never felt this smooth in 4 years. I'm going to be on Doxycyline for another 2 months. I'm using the tretinoin to help with hyperpigmentation and the texture of my skin. I honestly don't know if it's going to come back after I finish 3 months but I'm really praying that it won't! 


Negative side-effects during my first 3 weeks:

1.) Loss of appetite 

2.) Nausea (if taken without food) 




July 10, 2018
I never ever ever ever write up reviews. But I need to share this. I've suffered from moderate to severe acne for nearly 2 years. I would have these dots all over my face, my skin was red, and it just didn't look appealing. And I have tried so many tricks in the book. This comes down to changing my diet, trying tons of skin products (including natural), drinking so much water and I do (3litres a day) and so much more. It has put my self-esteem so down, I refused to go out a lot of the times because I'd see other girls my age with clear skin and it come to a point where I decided to go to the doctor. He prescribed me with doxycycline and a cream to apply on my skin once a day. It is currently day 6 of being on this pill and cream. And I have been complimented by my peers that my acne has been reduced significantly including my hyperpigmentation. I don't know if this will work for everyone but it is worth a try. And since I have taken this pill, I have never felt so much better about myself. and the best part is, IT'S ONLY DAY 6. I will say it hasn't cleared up fully but around my chin area I had lost of cysts and pimples that had white heads everyday and it looked nasty. So far my acne has reduced in size and has flattened. I still have 22 days to go of taking this pill so I will give a heads up.
August 9, 2018
How is it going ? I was just prescribed this today
July 2, 2018
doxy and tretinoin
I'm a 15 year old girl who has, unfortunately, suffered from mild acne since I was 11. However, my acne has progressively gotten worse since the beginning of this year. I started using epiduo which, I believe, ruined my skin even more. I developed really bad hyperpigmentation all over my face and was always covered in pimples, mainly whiteheads and cysts. I finally went to a dermatologist in April and upon looking at my face, he recommended accutane or an antibiotic plus topical treatment. He told me that with the antibiotic/topical treatment, there may only be a 20-30% improvement. Nevertheless, I decided to trial the antibiotic/topical treatment because I was and still am wary and afraid of accutane. I was prescribed 100mg of doxycycline and 0.05% tretinoin cream to use at night. During the first two weeks of treatment, I only used the tretinoin every other day because I do have extremely sensitive skin (I blame the Epiduo). Also, I wash my face with cetaphil cleanser, moisturise with the cetaphil dry skin cream and use SPF 30 daily. Here is a brief summary of my progress thus far: Month 1/2: Lots of peeling and dryness in the first week. Saw improvements in skin texture, not that many little bumps but still had at least 5 pimples constantly on my face. Slight improvement in hyperpigmentation but I was picking my acne so this wasn't unexpected. Month 3 (current): reduction in number of pimples on face, improvement on skin texture and hyper pigmentation has started to fade. I have my dermatologist appointment soon and I am hoping to continue this treatment for at least 2 more months because I have read many reviews saying that the skin didn't clear up until 3-6 months into the treatment. I will be posting any follow up reviews. Hope this helped !

Finding a Doctor

The right dermatologist can make a big difference to your patient experience and the success of your acne treatment plan. Here are the steps to find a dermatologist who is a good fit:

  1. Use the search feature on the American Academy of Dermatology website to look for board-certified dermatologists in your area, and filter the search results for doctors with a special interest in treating acne.
  2. Read online patient reviews of any dermatologists you are considering and ask people you know whether they have any experience with these dermatologists.
  3. Do your research and go to your first appointment with questions prepared.
  4. Listen to what your gut feeling tells you once you see a dermatologist in person. If you are not completely comfortable, try a different dermatologist.

Finding a Doctor

Only a select few plastic surgeons specialize in acne scar revision surgery. Be certain to find a provider who specializes in acne scar repair and who is passionate and experienced in this area.

Be sure to:

  • Look at before and after photos, the more the better, especially patients with similar scarring to your own.
  • Be realistic about results. Look for improvement, not a cure.

Questions to ask a potential scar revision specialist:

  • Are you board certified? Be certain that they are board certified.
  • How long have you been performing these procedures? Normally, the more experience the better, however, some younger surgeons may be more on top of the latest procedures.
  • Can I speak to some of your other patients? Ask for references for several patients who had similar scarring and speak to them about the process and their satisfaction with results.

Red flags:

  • Their story changes: As you discuss different treatment options, if they tend to change their mind easily, or agree with whatever you say, consider this a red flag. A confident, experienced surgeon will possess strong, unwavering opinions.
  • Your gut tells you "no": Trust your gut. If you just don't feel that the doctor is the right fit, trust that and move on. On the other hand, if you feel they are the perfect specialist for you, trust that feeling.