Antibiotics are wonderful drugs, I have to admit. They have little side effects, and are extremely effective against treating illnesses caused by bacteria. From strep throat, to a ear infection, antibiotics to the rescue! But did you know doctors and dermatologists are prescribing antibiotics for acne? Since they work to control the bacteria within the body, and bacteria is one of the leading causes of acne, its natural that antibiotics would have a beneficial effect on acne. However, is this something that you should even consider? Read on to find out!
So how do antibiotics help treat acne? Well, as I mentioned earlier, antibiotics are made to kill harmful bacteria from the inside out. This means that even taken orally, they can kill and control bacteria on the surface of the skin. Since many people experience breakouts due to uncontrolled bacteria, its a natural fit that antibiotics would help. You may notice that during a course of antibiotics you experience less breakouts, and your skin may “glow”!
Despite the indisputable evidence that antibiotics help treat acne, I feel that doctors prescribe and use them in the wrong way. Usually, patients suffering from acne will be put on a low dose of antibiotics for a long period of time (many months usually). This can have very adverse affects on the body overall. The antibiotics kill the bad bacteria in our body, but also kill the good bacteria. We need good bacteria in our bodies and systems to survive, and if we are consistently taking a drug that lowers our bacteria populations, then that can create serious issues. This can lead to horrible digestive issues, and bacteria resistance- something that nobody wants!
The biggest downside is that antibiotics are in no way shape or form a cure for acne, and they should never be thought of as such. As soon as you stop taking the antibiotics, your acne will come right back, since there is no longer that outside force suppressing the bacteria growth. It does not have any lasting affect on acne!
Its a bit confusing to me why people would be so desperate to be acne free for only a few months, knowing that after the antibiotics have run its course, you must take a break and live with acne again! Yes, it would be nice to have a long period without acne, but I do not feel like the side effects and risk are worth the short term relieve given.
Unlike oral antibiotics, I think that topical antibiotics can be a great option for those suffering from breakouts. I never had as great results on topical antibiotics, but they were still great results. I have used Benzaclin in the past, which is a combination of benzoyl peroxide and Clindamyacin. These two ingredients helped to control the bacteria population on my face from the outside in, rather that inside out with oral antibiotics. Unlike its oral counterpart, topical antibiotics can be used consistently, and does not interfere with your bodies natural flora.
Please let me know your thoughts in the comments!