Antibiotics Just Don’t Work That Well for Acne
If the root cause isn’t bacteria, this may be one reason that antibiotics have such a spectacularly high failure rate when it comes to acne treatment.
In fact, a dermatological study performed in the UK revealed that 82% of the study patients failed multiple courses of antibiotic treatments. Almost a third of patients who used isotreninoin (Accutane) relapsed after treatment. Perhaps due to their low success rate, doctors often prescribe several antibiotics, one after another. “Antibiotic resistance has been called one of the world’s most pressing public health problems,” according to the CDC.
Antibiotics can have serious side effects, including some that may never go away.
Many types of bacteria live inside the intestines and gut, but use of antibiotics can harm some types of bacteria and while allowing others to proliferate. In worst case scenarios, dangerous bacteria can grow in number and cause health issues with the colon, such as acute peritonitis, toxic megacolon, and colonic perforation. Research has also shown that gut problems are far more common among acne patients than those with clear skin, and that gut problems likely contribute to acne. While I’m sure there are many reasons why gut problems are more common among acne patients, frequent use of antibiotics is surely one of them.
Even a one-week course of clindamycin – a type of antibiotic – can create antibiotic resistance that lasts for up to two years. Now consider the fact that most antibiotic courses prescribed for acne patients are long-term. Many treatments last for six months or more.
Given these side effects, some of which may be permanent, is it really worth the risk?
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