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Oh, Great: Acne May Be Becoming Too Resistant to Antibiotics

I'd like to think that acne should just get a nice swift kick in the bum, and we'd all be done with it. Unfortunately, according to dermatologists, the bacteria responsible for causing acne, P. acnes, is getting more and more resistant to antibiotics. "The dangerous thing about putting zillions of folks on antibiotics is that this pressures bacteria to develop resistance methods," says Northwestern University dermatologist Dr. Peter Lio. So, if by chance you develop a life-threatening illness, it's then possible that antibiotics just won't work for you. Yikes.

This has changed the way doctors now treat acne. Instead of prescribing an antibiotic over a long span of time, dermatologists are often combining antibiotics with other treatments, like benzoyl peroxide, to help counteract resistance. Also, since acne is caused by more than just an overabundance of bacteria, doctors can employ other approaches, like treating the inflammation with retinoids and isotretinoin (Accutane). So, it looks like acne still gets that kick in the bum, after all. Whew.


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