Last updated: August 6, 2021

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The skin is our largest organ and therefore requires proper care. But what should we do if we keep getting painful inflammations on our face, back or arms? Acne tablets can provide relief from the annoying pimples. They directly attack the cause of the skin blemishes and thus remedy the acne from scratch.

Not only do they improve your skin, they also help you feel more positive about your body. With our big acne tablet test 2021 we want to help you find the best anti-acne tablets for you. We have compared prescription and over-the-counter products and listed the advantages and disadvantages of each. This should make your purchase decision as easy as possible.




The most important facts

  • Acne tablets can improve the appearance of your skin in the long term. For this, you need to take a certain dosage of the chosen tablets regularly in order to improve your skin in the long term.
  • Even time-honoured home remedies can alleviate skin blemishes. Turmeric, zinc and vitamin tablets are particularly popular.
  • Acne tablets can have side effects. Skin irritation or stomach problems are particularly common. However, there can also be more severe side effects such as depression, an increased risk of thrombosis, or high blood pressure.

The Best Acne tablets: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for acne tablets

If you are struggling with acne, you would like to get rid of it as quickly as possible with a miracle cure. When buying acne tablets, however, be sure to check the following criteria:

Effect

Not every acne remedy promises the same effect and not every person needs the same product for their skin problems. Depending on the severity of the blemishes, it may be enough to treat your skin superficially. Especially for mild to moderate acne, tablets that can be crushed and applied to the face as a mask are a good option. These cleanse the skin of dead skin flakes and excess sebum deposits, which are the main cause of blemishes.

Home remedies such as turmeric or zinc can also provide relief for mild acne from within. They can relieve inflammation and inhibit the spread of bacteria. For severe acne, external applications are often not enough. In this case, one must resort to high-dose tablets that can act on the body from the inside. This is to improve the skin's appearance in the long term. In order to choose an anti-acne product, you should first determine how severe your acne is in order to find the product that works best for you.

Active ingredient

The active ingredients of acne tablets range from tried and tested home remedies to tablets with chemical additives. Popular acne tablets contain vitamins A, C and E, for example. Turmeric and zinc tablets are also said to improve the skin's appearance. Other acne tablets often contain retinoids, which can reduce inflammation from within and thus have a positive effect on the skin.

Antibiotics, on the other hand, often contain the active ingredients tetracycline or doxycycline, which prevent skin infections. Acne tablets such as the pill, which are designed exclusively for women, contain oestrogen and progestogen. These substances are intended to rebalance the female hormonal system as the cause of skin blemishes. If you already know of an intolerance to any of the ingredients listed on the product, be sure to refrain from using this product!

Prescription required

Most acne remedies are available over-the-counter. However, these are often only for superficial treatment of the skin. You can also order low-dose tablets or home remedies for oral use on the internet or buy them at the pharmacy. However, if the tablets are in higher doses or require regular monitoring by a doctor, you can only buy them from a pharmacy with a prescription. These include medicines such as antibiotics, the pill or isotretinoin.

Side effects

Whether used externally or internally, acne tablets can cause side effects. Whether and to what extent they occur, however, varies from body to body.

There can be severe side effects.

Side effects that can occur with home remedies are often intestinal complaints or skin rashes. Dry patches on the skin often occur in the course of treatment, which often improve after the tablets have been stopped.

Much more severe side effects are possible with the high-dose and prescription tablets. These range from high blood pressure to depression or thrombosis. The list of side effects is long for many medications, but the positive end result often outweighs them. You can never tell beforehand whether you will get any of the side effects listed. It is your decision whether you want to take the risk of a possible side effect.

Guide: Questions to ask yourself before buying acne tablets

Before buying acne tablets, there are some factors you should consider. Below we have answered the most important questions you should know about them.

What is acne?

Acne is one of the most common skin conditions that causes pimples, pustules and blackheads to form and become inflamed over a long period of time.

Akne Tabletten-1

For many people, acne is not only a physical burden, but also a psychological one.
(Image source: Sharon McCutcheon / pixabay)

The cause of this is the sebaceous glands, which secrete too much sebum and at the same time cause increased callus formation. The accumulated sebum cannot be expelled as usual, but is retained by the newly formed cornea. Small pus-filled blisters form in the skin. This process occurs especially in teenagers because the increased testosterone affects the formation of sebum.

Negative stress can also stimulate testosterone production, which is why you often have to struggle more with skin blemishes during stressful periods.

Wherever there are sebaceous glands, uninvited skin impurities can form. Especially the face, neck, décolleté, back and upper arms are very often affected.

What is special about acne tablets and what advantages do they offer?

Acne tablets offer many advantages over other acne-fighting products. In the following, we have listed the most important special features of acne tablets.

  • External and internal use: Unlike other anti-acne products, acne tablets are available for both external and internal use. They can therefore be used for all skin types and manifestations of acne.
  • Easy to use: Acne tablets can be crushed and applied as a mask, or taken orally at regular intervals. Both options take very little time.
  • Treat directly at the cause: The aim of the tablets is to improve the skin's appearance in the long term. To achieve this, they attack directly at the cause of the skin problems in order to remedy them in the long term.

What types of acne tablets are there?

There are different types of acne tablets available, each of which can have a different effect. Below we look at antibiotics, isotretinoin, the pill and various home remedies as variants of anti-acne products and list the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Antibiotics

Antibiotics are only prescribed for severe acne. The active ingredients tetracycline or doxycycline are often added to the medication, which inhibit the growth of bacteria and thus counteract skin inflammation.

Advantages
  • Inhibits bacterial growth as one of the causes of acne
  • easy to use
  • brings about a lasting improvement in the skin's appearance
Disadvantages
  • can cause digestive problems which can affect the effect of other medicines such as the pill
  • only used for severe acne
  • requires a prescription
  • no long-term treatment because body will otherwise develop resistance

Isotretinoin

Isotretinoin is mainly used for severe acne where other medications have had no effect. The active ingredient is a retinoid and is derived from vitamin A. It has an anti-inflammatory effect. It has an anti-inflammatory effect and also loosens the horny layer of the skin.

Advantages
  • Lasting improvement of acne
  • easy to use
  • helps when other tablets have failed to bring about improvement
Disadvantages
  • can have very strong side effects
  • not suitable for pregnant women or children under 12
  • do not use if allergic to soy or peanuts
  • requires a prescription
  • acne can come back after stopping the medicine

Pill

The pill is probably the best-known remedy for acne and is therefore very popular with young women. It works through the substances oestrogen and progestogen, which is why it cannot be used in men.

Advantages
  • Improves the skin's appearance in the long term
  • also serves as a contraceptive
  • easy to use
Disadvantages
  • not suitable for men
  • can have strong side effects
  • requires a prescription
  • effect can be limited by external influences
  • acne can come back after stopping the pill

The pill is used when sebum and cornea production is increased due to the increased occurrence of male hormones. This is especially the case in teenage years, which is why many young women turn to the pill as a remedy for acne.

Home remedies

Inexpensive home remedies can also have a positive effect on the skin's appearance. Especially turmeric, vitamin and zinc tablets are said to have a positive effect. Vitamins A, C and E cleanse the skin and prevent small wrinkles. In addition, the vitamins are also responsible for the elasticity of the skin and thus for a healthy complexion. The substance curcumin contained in turmeric has an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect. This makes it ideal for inflammatory acne.

Advantages
  • is available without prescription
  • inexpensive
  • already available in many households
  • easy to use
  • has few and weaker side effects
Disadvantages
  • Effect not proven
  • must be taken for a long time to show effect
  • only helps with mild acne

Zinc tablets are also a good alternative to prescription medication. The active ingredient inhibits inflammation and excessive sebum production. It can also accelerate wound healing. However, you should have your blood levels checked regularly by a doctor to avoid overdosing. This would result in nausea, vomiting and headaches.

Who are acne tablets suitable for?

Acne tablets are basically for everyone who has skin problems. Due to the variety of active ingredients and dosages, you will find a suitable product for every skin type and for every blemish. However, certain groups of people should refrain from using certain acne tablets.

Many products are not suitable for pregnant women.

Products like isotretinoin and the pill have been shown to be harmful to fertility and can cause miscarriages or permanent damage to the embryo. Pregnant women should therefore avoid tablets like these. Depending on the product, use may also be ruled out in children under 12 years of age. Since they are still growing up, their skin problems usually get better by themselves over time.

Also, certain tablets are not yet suitable for smaller organisms due to their high medicinal dosage. This is to avoid strong side effects. Products like the pill are designed from the outset only for female acne patients because they are designed for a woman's hormonal system.

How much do acne tablets cost?

The cost of acne treatment can vary greatly. The difference lies mainly in the prescription requirement of the preparation taken.
Type Price range in euros How long does the pack last?
Antibiotics covered by statutory health insurance up to 3 months
Isotretinoin covered by statutory health insurance 4 to 6 months
Pill 40 to 60 euros 6 months
Home remedies 15 to 20 6 to 12 months

If, as a result of acne treatment by a dermatologist, it is decided to take prescription acne tablets, the statutory health insurance usually covers the costs minus the co-payment fee.

Do acne tablets require a prescription?

Whether acne tablets require a prescription depends on the dosage and the type of substances added.

Home remedies and low-dose chemical substances do not require a prescription and can be purchased by anyone in pharmacies, drugstores or on the internet.

These include, for example, turmeric, but also zinc and vitamin tablets. However, if you need higher doses of acne tablets such as antibiotics or the pill, you will need to see a doctor. He or she will determine the type and dosage of the tablets and monitor your blood values at regular intervals. Because high-dose tablets can often have severe side effects, it is important to take these products only under the regular supervision of a doctor.

When do the tablets take effect?

Tablets for external use usually show a positive effect after the first application. They remove excess sebum and dead skin flakes that would otherwise clog the sebaceous glands. The result is a degreased skin appearance. However, in order to benefit from the product in the long term, these must also be taken regularly over a longer period of time.
Regular use is important.

With oral acne tablets, it usually takes a little longer for changes to occur. In some cases, it can take up to half a year until an improved skin appearance can be observed. The most important thing here is continuity. Even though it is tempting to stop taking the medication after the first positive results, the withdrawal of the acne-inhibiting substances often leads to a renewed deterioration of the skin.

Can the tablets cause side effects?

Both tablets for external and internal use can cause side effects. Whether these occur, however, varies from person to person. In the case of preparations for superficial application, skin irritation, dry patches or a skin rash can occur.

Side effects can include dry skin or skin irritation. Depression or thrombosis can also occur with strong medications. (Image source: unsplash / Amplitude Magazine)

Once acne tablets are taken orally, the list of side effects is already much longer. Headaches, tiredness or fatigue are the most common. High doses of medication can lead to depression, thrombosis or high blood pressure.

Type most common side effects
Antibiotics rash, intolerances
Isotretinoin itching, depressive moods
Pill increased risk of thrombosis, depressive moods
Home remedies rash, digestive problems

As soon as side effects occur, it is essential to discontinue use and consult a doctor if necessary.

What are the alternatives to acne tablets?

Tablets are not the only way to treat acne. Often, creams or certain cleansing gels also prove to be true skin impurity fighters.

Cream

Anti-acne creams from the drugstore promise to fight existing pimples and prevent new ones. They act on the skin from the outside alone and can thus also treat the affected areas selectively. They often have a disinfecting effect, which is why inflammations can be prevented. They also provide the skin with sufficient moisture, which is needed to maintain a healthy complexion.

Creams that have to be prescribed by a doctor serve a similar purpose as those from the drugstore. They can also be applied selectively, but they contain much higher dosages of active ingredients. They often contain substances that are supposed to dissolve the excess callus. These can irritate the skin, which is why regular observation by a doctor is necessary.

Washing gel and peeling

Washing gels and scrubs are rarely an alternative for relieving severe acne. However, they can facilitate the daily care process of mild acne and thus support the skin in its healing process in the long term. Due to their cleansing properties, they remove excess sebum and dead skin flakes, which is considered to be the cause of acne.

Regular cleansing of the skin can thus improve the skin's appearance with constant use. However, you should be careful not to use peelings that are too aggressive. These often do more harm than good because of their coarse exfoliating grains. Many cleansing gels therefore advertise particularly mild cleansing that is suitable for all skin types.

Image source: Iegoshyn / 123rf

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