Non-antibiotic properties of tetracyclines and their clinical application in dermatology

Australas J Dermatol. 2014 May;55(2):111-8. doi: 10.1111/ajd.12075. Epub 2013 Jun 28.


Dermatologists have used tetracyclines since the 1950s to treat disorders that do not necessarily have an infectious aetiology. Their anti-inflammatory and anti-collagenase properties contribute significantly to their success in treating diseases such as rosacea and acne. This article reviews the non-antibiotic properties of tetracyclines and their clinical application in dermatology.

Keywords: anti-inflammatory; dermatology; doxycycline minocycline; matrix metalloproteinase; non-antibiotic; tetracycline.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / drug therapy
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Pemphigoid, Bullous / drug therapy
  • Rosacea / drug therapy
  • Skin Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Tetracyclines / therapeutic use*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors
  • Tetracyclines