Increased Rate Of Upper Respiratory Infections
Some studies have found that people with acne who use antibiotics may also have an increased risk of upper respiratory tract infection. In a cross-sectional and prospective cohort study, researchers found that the patients taking oral antibiotics for acne were more than three times more likely to report a sore throat than those who did not take oral antibiotics.3 In a similar study, researchers evaluating the long-term use of antibiotics for acne found that patients using antibiotics for their acne were more likely to develop upper respiratory tract infections. The exact mechanisms and reasons for this still require further study.4
Can Birth Control Help Improve Your Skin
Yes, birth control can help treat hormonal acne in women. Acne is caused by an excess production of sebum , which is triggered by androgen hormones. Birth control containing estrogen and progesterone lowers the amount of androgens in the body, which helps reduce acne .
Disclaimer: The above information is for informational purposes only and is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your doctor/primary care provider before starting or changing treatment.
Should You Be Worried About Antibiotic Resistance And Imbalance
While antibiotics work extremely well in treating painful pus-filled acne, some may cause nausea and other side effects. With medicines easily available over the counter in India without a prescription, self-medication and resistance to any kind of antibiotics is a major concern in the country, says Dr Mahajan. Blindly using these medicines for a long period can cause antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance happens when bacteria adapt to the antibiotic, which means that it may stop working and bacteria are no longer inhibited or killed by it. If antibiotic resistance develops, the antibiotic may also not work in your body for other infections and you may need higher antibiotics for simple diseases, says Dr Mahajan.
If we believe that the skin has a microbiome that is as complex as that of the gut, then will adding antibiotics into the mix ruin that balance? asks Dr Sethi, who prefers to use topicals rather than going the oral route. Research shows that in the short term, the bacteria is killed, but it could have long-term side effects on the skin,” she says. When you use antibiotics for a long time and then stop, the bacteria comes back. This can also bring with it the pseudomonas bacteria, a bad kind that can cause skin infections like folliculitis. If you are going down the antibiotic path, Dr Sethi likes to prescribe them for a very short timetwo weeks or a month at maximum, and likes supplementing it with other anti-acne ingredients too.
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Types Of Oral Antibiotics For Acne
There are several different types of oral antibiotics that can be prescribed to treat acne, including doxycycline, erythromycin and minocycline. Like all antibiotics, each of these can be prescribed to treat a variety of bacterial infections ranging from STIs to chest infections to acne. âWhen oral antibiotics are prescribed for acne, they work by controlling the skin bacteria that contributes to breakouts and blemishes. They also have an anti-inflammatory effect which can help reduce redness, swelling and inflammation.
How Do Oral Antibiotics Compare To Other Acne Treatments
Oral antibiotics are an effective way of managing moderate to severe acne both when prescribed alone and alongside a topical retinoid. They may work faster and better than topical options if there are large areas of your body that are affected by acne. Some people with inflammatory acne may prefer to only take oral antibiotics instead of using a topical.
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How Do Oral Antibiotics Treat Acne
Oral antibiotics treat acne from within, rather than topical creams medications on the skin. They work by targeting acne-causing bacteria in and around the follicles to reduce inflammation and decrease sebum production.
More specifically, oral antibiotics help decrease or kill the skin bacteria called propionibacterium acnes . The combination of anti-inflammatory and oil reduction effects of oral antibiotics helps reduce future breakouts and clear up existing acne lesions.
How Do Antibacterial Acne Products Work
Topical and oral antibiotics for acne are both prescription-only. They alter the very bacterial structure of the acne-causing agents, andperhaps more importantlyare anti-inflammatory. Antibiotics have a high success rate of as much as 70% after a few months of treatment, according to the Canadian Medical Association Journal. They arent intended for long-term use, however, as theyre shown to cause bacterial resistancewhich means that bacteria can become stronger and stop responding to the medication altogether. This can affect other bacteria in your body, including the bacteria you need.
Tip! Be sure to understand the difference between antibiotics and benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide creates a hostile environment for bacteria, while prescription pills and antibiotic creams alter the very structure of the problem-causing agents.
Benzoyl peroxide is often used as a supplemental treatment with antibiotics, and also as the recommended care regimen after a relatively short period of antibacterial use. Read more aboutbenzoyl peroxide and its role in fighting acne from The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology.
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How Much Should I Take
For acne, your doctor will likely prescribe a form of minocycline called Solodyn, which comes in the form of a slow-release capsule.
You can take minocycline at any time of day, with or without food. However, its best to drink a full glass of water with each dose to reduce irritation in your esophagus or stomach. Dont take more than prescribed by your doctor. This can increase your risk of side effects.
Dont Wait To Treat Acne
You may think of acne as a teenage problem, but its not uncommon for acne to appear around age 9. The earlier it comes, the earlier it may go. However, those who start puberty later may have acne into their 20s.
Acne usually subsides on its own, but treatment is important if your child is bothered by his or her appearance, says Dr. Kassouf. Its also important if youre concerned about long-term effects. Severe acne can leave scars and cause skin discoloration.
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How Effective Are Antibiotics For Acne
Theres a reason the major tetracyclines tetracycline, doxycycline and minocycline are so popular for managing acne: they get the job done.
Approved by the FDA for treating different infections, doxycycline and minocycline are more popular for managing acne, while limited studies have been carried out on the effects of tetracyclines and macrolides in treating acne.
In identical studies carried over 12 weeks, the effects of minocycline on moderate to severe acne were tested on 924 patients who were 12 years and older were given 1mg/kg per day for the duration of the research.
At the end of the study, patients recorded significant improvements to their acne, and minocycline was found safe for use.
Likewise, in a compilation of six studies where doxycycline was pitted against another antibiotic , the tetracycline was found to be just as effective in reducing cases of moderate to severe acne.
When a study combined topical clindamycin with benzoyl peroxide to test its effectiveness against azelaic acid the combination was found to be more effective in treating mild to moderate cases of acne.
How Do You Go Off Antibiotics For Acne
Weve discussed how antibiotics work on acne, how long it takes them to work and what the usual duration of the treatment is. Now lets talk about how most dermatologists go about stopping antibiotic treatment.
After those three months of treatment are over, youre usually advised to go to the dermatologists office in order for them to see your improvement. If they decide that youve had at least 90% improvement in acne, then they discontinue the antibiotic but they tell you to use the same topical treatments as you did when you were on the antibiotic.
Once this initial check-up is over, you will go to the dermatologists office in a few weeks time so that they see how well youre doing. Depending on the condition, they might put you on another topical treatment or tell you to continue with the old one.
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What Is Acne Anyway
Acne is a chronic inflammatory skin condition, characterized by blackheads and whiteheads , pimples, and deeper lumps . They are caused when hair follicles are clogged with oil, bacteria and dead skins cells, and can occur on the face, neck, chest, back, shoulders and upper arms.
While once thought to be a direct result of overactive sebaceous oil glands, now we know that inflammation is the driving force behind acne. In fact, this inflammation can be seen in the skin even before a pimple pops up. And clogged follicles can also stimulate more inflammation.
The bacterium that lends its name to the condition Propionibacterium acnes, is just one of the factors that stimulates this acne-causing inflammation.
Hereditary and genetic factors, hormones, emotional stress and even diet can also bring on the zits. For instance, foods with a high glycemic load such as white grains and sweets have been linked to acne, as they can increase oil production and skin cell turnover. This ultimately causes a backup in the pores and follicles on our skin creating a nice environment for the inflammation-inducing P. acnes to flourish.
When that happens, these enzymes contribute to the formation of the big, angry, red, cystic acne lesion, and they can also contribute to the creation of pitted scars.
This is why antibiotics are used to treat acne, but also rosacea, razor bumps and scarring hair loss, to name a few other dermatological conditions.
How Do Antibiotics Work To Reduce Acne
Topicals like azelaic acid and benzoyl peroxide reduce acne on the skin surface by neutralising bacteria through free radicals, but they’re not able to actually kill the bacteria, confirms Delhi-based Dr Kiran Sethi. On the other hand, antibiotics help to clear the zits by getting rid of all the bacteria that could cause infections. Acne is not like any other infection in the body and there are certain sets of antibiotics that help in clearing acne. More specifically, macrolides and tetracyclines are two antibiotic groups that are very effective, says dermatologist Dr Ameesha Mahajan. Antibiotics are usually prescribed in cases of red, painful lesions and pus-filled lesions. These antibiotics act by reducing the number of bacteria on the skin surface and in the follicles, including Cuticubacterium acnes, she says. What makes them particularly useful is that they also reduce inflammation and soothe the skin in cases of painful acne. They are usually prescribed in combination with topical treatments. Acne is a multi-factorial disorder and different factors have to be targeted at the same time. So the addition of oral and topical treatment together provides complete coverage, says Dr Mahajan. This process can take up to four months to clear your acne.
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Topical Antibiotics For Acne
Available as a foam, gel, solution, lotion or swab, clindamycin is one of the better-known forms of topical antibiotics.
In foam and gel form, you’ll probably be required to apply it just once a day. Other forms will require twice daily usage.
Like other antibiotics for acne, it is very effective in slowing or stopping the growth of bacteria that can cause acne.
Like clindamycin, erythromycin is available in various topical forms.
At the height of its effectiveness, it was largely recommended for treating inflammatory acne and was found to be less effective for non-inflammatory lesions.
However, overtime, acne bacteria got a little too used to this medication and developed a strong resistance towards it, especially in cases where it was used alone, and it is no longer a popular solo recommendation when managing acne.
It is now rarely used for managing acne.
Because topical antibiotics are prone to bacterial resistance, they are commonly combined with other treatments like benzoyl peroxide which help to prevent or reduce resistance, as well as topical retinoids.
These retinoids help to reduce exposure to antibiotics and by extension the chances of developing a resistance to them.
Controversies In Use Of Antibiotics For Acne
Antibiotics are moderately effective for acne and are frequently used for acne treatment. They are often prescribed for months or years, because acne is a chronic skin condition. However, many physicians are concerned about the use of antibiotics for acne, mainly because of reports of increasing rates of bacterial resistance to antibiotics.
Bacterial resistance and serious infections including cellulitis, pneumonia, tuberculosis and diarrhoeal illnesses are a global threat. New, more expensive antibiotics are often less well tolerated than older agents and are unavailable in many countries. Very few new antibiotics are being discovered or brought to market.
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Combining Oral Antibiotics With Other Acne Medications
In most cases, oral antibiotics are used in combination with other acne treatments, such as benzoyl peroxide, topical retinoids and topical antibiotics, to increase effectiveness of therapy.
At the Center for Surgical Dermatology, we often recommend the combination of oral antibiotics and topical medication to treat acne, as this has shown the most significant effectiveness at both diminishing acne lesions and reducing the chance of future breakouts.
Which Oral Antibiotics Do We Recommend For The Treatment Of Acne
Though there are many different families of antibiotic acne treatments, we most often recommend tetracyclines, which tend to be the most effective at treating acne with fewer side effects. The most commonly prescribed medications are doxycycline, minocycline, and sarecycline.
In specific cases, other classes of oral antibiotics may be prescribed.
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Who Should Not Take Doxycycline
You should not take doxycycline if you are allergic to tetracycline-class antibiotics.
Children under age 8, pregnant women, and breastfeeding women should not take doxycycline for acne.
It can cause permanent damage and changes to teeth in children or unborn babies.
Doxycycline can interact with numerous drugs.
If you take any of the following medicines or supplements, be sure to let your pharmacist or doctor know:
Doxycycline is not only used for skin conditions.
It is a broad-spectrum antibiotic that is also used to address multiple types of infections.
It is widely prescribed for chlamydia or pelvic inflammatory disease caused by chlamydia, eyelid infections, bacterial respiratory illness, gastrointestinal infections, and malaria.
It is also prescribed by some physicians for preventing or treating Lyme disease, as well as other bacteria that may be transmitted by insect or animal bites.
Best Antibiotics For Acne
There are many different families of antibiotic acne treatments, but looking at which are most effective with fewest side-effects, two stand out: tetracyclines and erythromycin. Here are our TOP 4 products with each of these active ingredients.
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What Should You Not Say To Someone With Acne
8 things you should never say to someone with acne
- What happened to your face?
- Dont worry, theyre only spots.
- Have you tried
- I always get spots before my period too.
- You must be touching your face too much.
- Ive never had acne because I
- Its probably because you have a bad diet.
- You shouldnt wear make-up because its making the problem worse.
How Fast Do Acne Antibiotics Work
Oral antibiotics can take about six to eight weeks to start working, so you wont see results right away. Even if you arent seeing any improvement, its important to keep taking minocycline as directed by your doctor. Sometimes, bacteria become resistant to antibiotics over time.
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How Do Antibiotics Treat Acne
Antibiotics are medications that target bacteria some can directly kill bacteria and others work by preventing their growth and replication. In addition to fighting bacteria, many antibiotics have anti-inflammatory effects.
What To Do If Your Doctor Suggests Antibiotics For Your Acne
First, ask her why she wants you to do this and if there are other options you can try instead.
If you are prescribed antibiotics from a doctor, do not stop your course before speaking with her about it since this can make it more likely that you will create resistant strains of bacteria that will be with you for the rest of your life.
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How Long Does It Take For Antibiotics To Clear Up Acne
Usually, oral antibiotics take around six to eight weeks to work. After that, the condition should keep improving. Unfortunately, its not one of those treatments which give you results straight away. This might be bad news for those of you who are impatient for a cure and trust me, I know what its like. But keep in mind that those few weeks will pass regardless of whether or not youre on antibiotics. So, its best to continue the treatment even when you dont see results straight away. If you dont see an improvement in six to eight weeks, talk to your doctor about it.
If this does happen, you might be suffering from antibiotic resistance. Dont worry though, your doctor might prescribe a different antibiotic to you, one that isnt from the same family as those that youre currently on, or they might put you on completely different acne treatment, depending on the severity of your situation.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that you should stick to the treatment even when the acne isnt going away. That way, you can figure out what exactly the problem is once those initial few weeks pass. On the other hand, if you give up the treatment prematurely, you might regret it later and wonder what wouldve happened had you stuck to the treatment plan. Its going to be worth it in the end.