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I have struggled with moderate/severe cystic acne off and on since I was 12 (I'm now a 31 y.o. female). A few years ago I started Bactrim. It completely cleared my skin within 3 months. I enjoyed continued clear skin as long as I took it - about 2 years. I stopped taking it about 6 months ago because I would like to become pregnant, after which the acne returned.
If you take this drug, please also take a probiotic as it can cause damage to your gut, especially over long-term use. I'm currently seeing a naturopath to restore my gut flora to a healthy state and hopefully heal my skin naturally. Gut imbalances can cause/worsen acne, so be careful.
I got horrendous cystic acne on one cheek when I was seventeen. I tried nearly every topical treatment under the sun and saw no progress. I was first prescribed doxy, but it gave me really bad GI side effects so I quit that after only a week or two. I got a dermatologist and was prescribed Bactrim. After about a month, it was working spectacularly. My acne was all but gone (mild breakouts with one to two pimples) and the scarring was starting to fade. I stayed on Bactrim, lowering the dosage from two pills daily to one. I felt great about myself and my appearance.
However, fast forward six months. My acne started coming back, slowly but surely. Eventually, my cheek was back to being covered with acne (just in time for college, of course), despite the fact that I had started taking two pills again. My derm then prescribed me Solodyn, which did not work AT ALL. I went back to Bactrim and saw a little improvement. I went to my primary to get birth control, thinking that it may be hormonal. I should have researched BC more, I think, because I was prescribed the mini-pill due to my family's history of breast cancer. However, I was not informed that the mini-pill actually CAUSES acne. I started breaking out way more on my jawline and the opposite cheek. Now, after two months on the mini-pill, my right cheek (the initial one) is completely clear except for scarring, but I have four or five cysts on my left cheek. I'm going back to my primary to try and get on a real BC pill, despite the risk because my periods are irregular as well, leading me to believe that I might have some sort of estrogen deficiency or androgen surplus. My derm keeps pushing accutane, but I'm a collegiate athlete and can't afford the joint pain and muscle weakening that are common side effects of the drug (not to mention that my mother is not supportive of it in the slightest). So, yeah. I'm still taking Bactrim, but I still have moderate acne.
tl;dr Bactrim is an antibiotic. Eventually, the bacteria will develop an immunity to the drug and it will stop working as well. Keep that in mind. That said, nothing else I've taken has worked as well for as long.
Just wanted to give a review on Bactrim because I have a love/hate relationship with it. About 7 years ago I had a mild-moderate winter outbreak and after dealing with it for a few months my dermatologist put me on Bactrim. It cleared up my skin so quickly, like a week or two, and I took it for about 7 months until it slowly stopped working. I didn't break out horribly I just stopped taking it and my skin broke out mildly, in fact I don't even really remember it being a big deal. Fast forward to 2013 and I took Bactrim again for a month prior to Accutane, only for a month and it nearly cleared up my horrible, HORRIBLE acne, fast. Unfortunately this winter I had another mild winter outbreak, like 5-10 active small pimples at a time but very persistent. I went to my dermatologist and started up Bactrim, within only a few hours I felt awful, painful anxiety and truly felt like my heart might explode. At first I thought it was all in my head, because me derm warned me that this drug could kill me (she wasn't very sensitive about it, but was just being honest). I wasn't making it up in my head. It was truly the worst anxiety I could have every even imagined. I felt like I was going insane and it was only after two pills. I called my Derm and she said to quit immediately. About 36 hours after my last pill I feel so much better, but am so heartbroken because this pill really does help heal acne FAST. So if you are going on it or thinking of going on it know it's very effective but please just be aware and cautious when starting it, it was actually pretty scary.... I would rather have mild acne than ever feel that way again.
I have been on Bactrim for about 5 years now. I am male, healthy, and 23 years old now. I've been struggling with nodular cystic acne since I was a young teen (12-13 years old), I had it all over my chest, shoulders, face, and neck. Currently I am a graduate student, so that will speak to my intelligence. Here is my take- everyone is different. Personally I tried every single antibiotic and topical out there to tame my acne. Nothing worked including acutane. Ever since I've been on Bactrim my acne has been mitigated. Bactrim never 'cured' my acne, but I do strongly believe it drastically mitigates cystic acne. I still have acne, but am concerned about the health effects of staying on it for more years. Now since my acne is minimal I think I will start weaning myself off before I develop some type of allergy. I have tried every topical, Zianna, Epiduo, Benzo-creams. The best thing that works for me is Clindomyicin phospate gel. My skin always looks clearer in the morning after applying before bed.
Recently I switched to a top dermatologist in Philly, he used to teach dermatology at the University of Penn. He recommended I start washing my face with HIBICLENSE. This can be bought at a CVS or grocery store over the counter (it is a red liquid). Surgeons use it to wash their hands before operating to kill the bacteria. Now I apply it on my face twice a day while in the shower. I let it sit on my skin for about 30 seconds and then rinse it off. Then I use a neutrogena benzo face wash (no exfoliator beads) after (also good for killing bacteria). I let that sit for about a minute and wash that off. This is the best regimen I came up with after 10 years of combating acne. Meanwhile I still take Bactrim DS twice daily. I also spot treat with a pink sulfur medicine i buy online (nothing works better).
Since my skin is looking a lot better now, I will try to wean off the pills, and keep doing my shower regimine, and use clyndomyicin gel at night. Nothing is worth the risk of developing an allergy to this Bactrim I've come to realize from reading so many reviews. Use with caution.
I remember having horrible cystic acne at 17. my skin cleared up 100% after 1 month. Esp after getting a chemical peel from the dermatologist my scars (actually bruises, so i was told) went away as well resulting in flawless skin. during the times i did have to stop taking it, like when i went to basic training for example, it flared up again just like before. I never got any side effects from this med whatsoever. I'm 24 now and i'm living in the netherlands with my husband and apparently bactrim is banned in this country...as a result i've been struggling to find another option to clear up my skin...doxy doesnt cut it and its 5x as horrible when i have my period and it all collects on the jawline and lower cheeks and chin..im currently on spyro now and just started yas...if all else fails i'm considering trying a low dose of accutane (although im very weary of the said side effects which is why im keeping it as a last resort)
I began Bactrim in October freshmen year after stuggling with severe to moderate acne for about a year. before bactrim I remember feeling so depressed about my skin and all the products that kept not working. Within the first month I didn't see much improvement but I stuck with it and then somewhere between that 2nd and 3rd month my skin was basically clear. By month four I had no acne which was crazy due to the amount I used to have. I stayed on this medicine for about half a year and then came off. Although I still break out from time to time bactrim saved my life. I am now a junior and my skin is doing well with just washing it twice a day and using a spot treatment. Although I still get break out here in there it's nothing compared to what it was, stick with it nothing works overnight and its worth it in the end you'll be so happy with this decision. it helped with face and body acne. Just remember to be careful in the sun while on this medication
I am 26 and since about 15 I have been dealing with acne on and off. At certain times my acne has been manageable, other times I would be pretty clear for a few weeks at a time, and then other times I would hide inside and skip going out with friends. I understand that acne takes an emotional toll on you, and if I can help by providing reviews to others that's just what i'll do! Bactrim has always been my quick fix for my acne. Seriously within 1-2 days I do not have any new blemishes popping up. At least that has always been the case for me and I hope that continues to be the case. (knock on wood) All of my existing acne dries up for me as well. For me the Bactrim seems to settle well with me too. I do not notice I feel any different, my skin just keeps clearing. Right now I am dealing with painful zits on my lower part of my face. (chin & jawline, sometimes neck) The zits are not quite cysts but still hurt!! So Bactrim has helped me. The only problem is eventually your body does get used to antibiotics and it technically isn't that great to be on antibiotics constantly. I don't think my body has ever got used to bactrim I just usually stop taking it because I don't like to be on antibiotics every single day of my life. My goal right now is to get my skin clear with Bactrim then try to start spironolactone since my acne seems to be hormonal now a days. So in conclusion 5 stars for Bactrim for a real quick healing of you acne. Bactrim is great if you have a special event or something, and you want to get rid of your pesky spots quick.
When I first went to the dermatologist for my acne I was prescribed this product. I only took a days worth before I had an allergic reaction to it. My skin broke out in hives and my throat and joints swelled up. It never got the opportunity to do anything to my acne so I can't comment on that aspect but I would caution others to be careful when taking this product.
(For anyone curious I had to get a steroid injection and then an oral prescription to combat the allergic reaction.)
In late 2011 (at 28 years of age), I started getting terrible Acne on my face. I tried every herbal remedy, herbs and vitamins that supposedly help Acne, topical creams and everything over the counter one could dream of. Nothing worked and my face was becoming worse by the day. In April 2012, I saw my dermatologist who said my acne was cystic and severe - he prescribed Bactrim DS on the spot. He told me results vary - some people get lucky and find it clears their skin in only a few short weeks, however some people need to wait much longer than that...I was the latter.
My face and acne stayed in the same horrific state for quite some time - it was only in July 2012 that I started noticing a real difference. I was still getting acne, but it wasn't as inflamed (no pus or yellow heads) and it would go away much faster than usual. My skin continued to slowly improve and by Christmas 2012, my face was clear and it's remained that way :) - apart from the odd spot around 'that time of the month' - which I dare note complain about is it's NOTHING compared to a face full of swollen, painful, embarrassing Acne.
In conjunction with the Bactrim DS, I used Benzac face wash and only moisturised every now and then. These days I'm still taking Bactrim DS and using Neutrogena's Power Clean Face wash - which is amazing as it's faded my Acne scars by about 70% over the last 7 months or so.
I can't recommend Bactrim DS highly enough - however you MUST be willing to be patient. Don't just stop taking it after a few months if you find your skin isn't improving. I'd say give it a good 4 months and if you notice absolutely no improvement, then go and see your derm and discuss other options. Also, keep in mind that some people are VERY allergic to this medication so make sure you know the risks and what to expect just in case you react to it. I was pretty nervous the first time I took this as I had read about so many peoples scary reactions...but I took a leap of faith and I've never looked back :)
Bactrim is an oral antibiotic typically used to treat infections. My dermatologist prescribed it to me on a whim because the tetracycline medications weren't working for me and I didn't want to go on accutane just yet because I have problems with depression and it's just a hassle going to there doctor every month.
I saw results in one month of using bactrim. I was able to start using less acne products and miss washing my face without breaking out. My face became way less oily and now I'm only left with acne marks that are left behind from all the pimples. For this, I'm using acne.org's AHA product because it increases cell turnover and exfoliates the top layers of the skin. Hopefully it will work!