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If you are suffering from acne and the usual over-the-counter products don’t help, you can try a prescription acne treatment. Our confidential service allows you to order a prescription for an antibiotic or a topical treatment online.

Fill in our short questionnaire and upload two photos of your skin problem into your patient record. One of our UK-based doctors will review your case. Once our doctor has approved your prescription you will receive it via post. You can use our prescriptions at any Irish pharmacy.

A consultation for acne treatment costs €20.

Which acne treatments are there?

There are various acne treatments, from lifestyle changes to creams and antibiotics. While antibiotic tablets serve to treat acne “from the inside”, topical creams help relieve the symptoms “from the outside”. Depending on the severity of your symptoms and your personal preference, our doctors can help you find the acne treatment which works best for you.

How should I take care of my skin while undergoing acne treatment?

If you suffer from acne, you should clean your skin regularly with a facial cleansing lotion or peeling. However, you should be careful not to irritate your skin further and choose a milder cleansing product if irritations occur. It is important that you do not squeeze your acne spots as this will worsen the infection and can even lead to permanent scarring. Women who use make-up need to ensure to wash it off completely before going to bed at night, so their skin can breathe during night time. Leaving your makeup on during the night is likely to worsen your skin condition, as your makeup will contribute to your pores being clogged.

As with most health problems, making lifestyle changes and living healthily can lead to a significant improvement. You should aim to drink enough water and eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. Being physically active on a regular basis has also been found to improve skin conditions like acne. Scientists have found a link between smoking and acne, although the exact mechanism is still unknown. If you are a smoker suffering from acne, stopping smoking should be part of your acne treatment plan.

Why do some people develop acne?

Acne is one of the most common skin conditions. The typical spots and lesions are caused by a hormonal imbalance, which leads to an increase in the production of sebum. The excess sebum causes the pores of your skin to be blocked, resulting in bacterial infection and inflammation. Acne often affects teenagers, as it is very common for hormonal changes during the teenage years to result in an excess of androgens, a sexual hormone which belongs to the group of steroids. If your androgen levels are too high, you are likely to develop acne. As boys and men generally have higher steroid-levels, the often suffer from more severe forms of the condition. Although acne is often regarded as a typical teenage problem, it can occur later and life and affects patients of all ages.

Which acne treatment options are there?

There are numerous skincare products available, so choosing the right one can be difficult. If you are experiencing some light symptoms of acne, a pharmacist may be able to advise you on the best acne treatment. If your acne is severe or you consider your skin condition as an impairment to your quality of life, you should seek medical help from a doctor.

How can DrEd help?

If you would like to treat your acne, our online acne clinic allows you receive treatment quickly and without having to book an appointment with your GP. We will ask you to fill in a brief questionnaire to find out about the symptoms and severity of your condition, as well as your previous medical treatment. We will also ask you to upload two photos, so our doctor can assess your case properly. Our doctor will then prescribe either a topical treatment or an antibiotic to target the inflammation.

If you are a female acne patient you may wish to consider taking a contraceptive pill. Due to the estrogen content, some combined oral contraceptives can lessen acne symptoms and improve your skin. If you are already taking an oral contraceptive, you can visit our contraception clinic for a repeat prescription.

How do i use a topical cream?

The topical acne treatments we prescribe are Zinneryt Isotrex and Differin. They are usually applied daily for a period of 12 weeks. If you choose this treatment option, you will need to apply a thin layer of these creams every night before going to bed. You need to ensure you cover all affected areas while avoiding contact with eyes, mouth and hair. They will lessen the production of sebum and kill the bacteria living in it. It heals existing lesions and prevents the development of new spots and cysts. It may take a while until you notice the effect of this acne treatment.

Which antibiotics for acne are there?

DrEd can prescribe Lymecycline to treat acne. You need to take your acne tablets with plenty of water but need to make sure you avoid consuming milk or milk products at the same time, as they reduce the effectiveness. The duration of your antibiotic acne treatment will depend on your symptoms and the effect the antibiotics have on your condition. Both cream and tablets can be used at the same time to achieve the best possible result.

What is Isotretinoin?

Isotretinoin is a treatment for severe acne, which contains an anti-inflammatory agent. It was licensed in 1983 and has proven very effective in healing acne. However, Isotretinoin can cause severe side effects, including very dry skin, pruritus, scaling and dermatitis. It has also been linked with a number of mood disorders such as severe depression, psychotic disorders and suicide attempts. While these side effects are very rare, they can be serious. If you have a history of depression, Isotretinoin is not suitable for you. If you experience mood swings or abnormal behaviour during treatment, you need to seek help immediately. DrEd does not prescribe Isotretinoin.

Which side effects can acne treatment cause?

Which side effects you may experience depends on which acne treatment (or combination of treatments) you take.Topical creams are more likely to cause skin irritation, while oral medications are more likely to be associated with nausea and digestive problems.

Side Effects of Creams and Gels

  • redness of the skin
  • scaling and dry skin
  • burning sensation after application

Side Effects of Antibiotic Acne Tablets

  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • blood vessel inflammation
  • allergic reactions and rashes
  • swelling of lymph nodes and face
  • fever and muscle pain
  • visual problems
  • sensitivity to sunlight
  • liver inflammation

Severe side effects when taking Lymecycline are quite rare. However, if you suffer severe symptoms please do not hesitate to seek medical help. For a complete list of side effects, always read the patient leaflet of the medication you are taking. Women who choose to take an oral contraceptive may encounter side effects associated with the combination of hormones their pill contains.

Drug Name Type of Medication Side Effects Advantages Disadvantages
Differin, Isotrex and Zinneryt topical cream redness peeling burning or stinging sensation the medication is applied directly to the affected areas, the active ingredient is not ingested and will not affect any other parts of the body can sometimes discolour textiles and hair (avoid contact with eyebrows and hair), can cause skin irritation, causes a higher sensitivity to UV light, avoid direct sunlight and tanning salons


antibiotic, tablets

dizziness, nausea, coordination difficulties, tiredness, impaired ability to concentrate drowsiness, bloatedness, vomiting, diarrhoea, fever, cramps, inflammation, skin rashes

the skin is not irritated further as acne is treated “from the inside”, suitable for treating severe acne

heightened sensitivity to UV light; must not be taken during pregnancy and breastfeeding,  drinking alcohol reduces the effectiveness of Lymecycline

If you have a question about this service, please email [email protected] with the question, and one of our doctors will get back to you within 24 hours.

Prescription sent by mail

You can choose for your paper prescription to be delivered to your address. This takes 3-5 working days.

Acne Treatment

1 Order Prescription

Complete a fast and simple online health questionnaire

2 Doctor Prescribes

Doctor reviews your suitability and if appropriate issues your prescription

3 Prescription Delivered

We’ll send urgent scripts fast to any Irish pharmacy or the paper script to your address

Acne Medication

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Anytime, Anywhere

You can complete one of our online assessments at any time, whenever it suits you. It’s as easy as 1,2,3.

  1. Choose your medication
    You'll complete a short online health assessment and choose the medication you need. If you\'re unsure, our in-house GPs can also recommend the best treatment for you.

  2. Our GP prescribes your medication
    Our doctors will review your order and issue your prescription.

  3. Free delivery to your door or collect from the pharmacy
    Free delivery to your address is included. Or for urgent orders you can collect straight from your pharmacy

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Orders placed before 4pm will be dispatched the same day.

Standard Delivery

Estimated Delivery:
Delivered to your chosen address within 3-5 working days.

Pharmacy Collect

Estimated Delivery:
For urgent orders, delivered to your chosen pharmacy from 1 hour of placing your order if placed Mon-Fri 9am-4pm.

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Your prescription will be delivered in plain, unlabeled packaging

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