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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.


Join The Conversation
blondie829 blondie829 8 years
I'm on Yaz and have had no problems, and my skin is looking wayyyy better. Everyone is different, I guess!
carhornsinapril carhornsinapril 8 years
^ Yaz made my mild cystic acne MARKEDLY worse (and made me feel like a crazy person the entire time i was on it). :( antibiotics have worked great for me in the past, in conjunction with topicals, but you can't be on that stuff for your whole life. next stop, accutane...
zcoral zcoral 8 years
Has anyone tried Yaz for acne? I'm thinking about it.
ammura ammura 8 years
About 5 months ago, I started to breakout. I am in my 30s and I had never dealt with acne before. I went to see a derm and he prescribed antibiotics, benzyl peroxide, and micro retin A. The results? Pain, swelling, and redness and my acne did not clear up. I kept getting some very painful flareups every two days. So, I decided to stop taking the prescribed medications and am following a more natural approach (vitamins & supplements like zinc, Omega 3s, cod liver oil, zinc, and neem leaf which is an ayurvedic solution to dealing with bacteria). My skin is clearing up and no more painful flareups. So I am continuing on with this regimen. It is a slow process, so it a lesson in patience. So I would say that my acne was very resistant and I was not willing to go on accutane.
Lyv Lyv 8 years
Oh, poo. I had bad acne for yeeears. It's cleared up real nice since my late teens but I can relate. :(
sisko20 sisko20 8 years
Accutane worked wonderfully for a while but didn't last, now my acne is back in full force. Sigh. I wouldn't do it again, too much down effects! And it seems to get really nasty around that time of the month, perhaps birth control might help. I took an appointment with a new derm, will see what she suggest.
witchbaby witchbaby 8 years
I've been on a few antibiotics. but of course my skin grew resistant. my derm said its either birth control or Accutane. I've read too many horror stories about it so decided just to do the pill. So far *crosses fingers* all my really bad cystic acne is clear. now I just get tiny break outs.
nariyal nariyal 8 years
I tried Clinique, and a bunch of other products but the results (while almost always good) didn't last. Most salicylic acid based ointments/cleansers just seemed to make it worse. I finally switched to a baby cleanser, regular application of a benzoyl peroxide ointment followed by a baby moisturizer and I've been acne free for about a year now, and I don't plan on switching anytime soon!
emalove emalove 8 years
Not surprised by this...I thought this type of resistance happens with all bacteria eventually.
sfunkera sfunkera 8 years
Accutane had no effect on me. STILL haven't found anything that works :(
trendqueen trendqueen 8 years
Well... like all bacteria strains become restraint over time like at the flu virus the vaccination has changed many time due to the virus mutating. I go to a drem now and he wanted to give me pills but I denied him b/c every time you kill bad bacteria you kill good bacteria somewhere else in the body..So far my results are good just by using creams...
pharm_chick pharm_chick 8 years
i agree starangel, the ipledge form is a real pain!! i can only say from the prescription filling POV though. i have a retin a gel that i keep for emergencies since thankfully my acne has subsided a little. i suggest sulfur creams. the mario badescu drying cream is excellent as well.
starangel82 starangel82 8 years
skittishpixie - you might want to try Clinique's acne treatment system. I've been using that for several months now and have had really good results. I started using it between derms and really liked it.
starangel82 starangel82 8 years
I tried the Accutane approach for a while. It worked, but it was such a pain in the rear. I had to sign a waiver saying I would always use two methods of birth control. Then I had to take a pregnancy test before I could get my prescription refilled. You can't just get your refill called into the pharmacy... you have to go to the doctor every month. I understand why... Accutane is extremely harmful to a fetus, but it is a lot of song and dance for medication. Especially when there are other medications on the market that can cause just as much damage to a fetus. I digress. I finally switched derms and found one who worked with me to find a mix of meds and creams that worked instead of Accutane.
skittishpixie skittishpixie 8 years
I went to a couple of different derms and they all prescribed me antibiotics. I had to get blood work done and had bad infections you know where. It was a very bad experience, wouldn't recommend to anyone. Trying to cure it on my own now.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
Good to hear they found a way around it...
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