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How Long Do Antibiotics Generally Take To Work?

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Hey, I was just wondering if anybody could tell me how long it usually takes antibiotics to work for acne? I know it's not an exact science or anything but if anyone can suggest a general timeframe it would be much appreciated! I've been on Lymecycline 408mg/day for 4 weeks now and I'm still breaking out really badly in certain places (mainly my forehead) so I'm starting to wonder if antibiotics even work for acne at all. sad.png What are your experiences?


My Current Treatment Plan

Morning: Lymecycline

Evening: Dianette + Epiduo

Diet: eliminated dairy

My Log:

Acne status: continuing to break out, so demoralising!

"I would rather learn what it feels like to burn than feel nothing at all." ~ Ron Pope


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When I took antibiotics for acne my doctor told me 3 to 4 months - which ended up being true. I took doxycycline, and at another point I took bactrim, and I was on them for about 3 - 4 months before my skin was clear. That's the general 'rule' I follow for any skin treatment now - give it at least 3 months to see if it works. I think my doctor said something about 3 months being the time for all the skin layers to move up to be the surface layer or for any of the acne deep in the skin to surface... Don't quote me on that though! I'm probably remembering that part wrong because it was a while ago!

So antibiotics can work while you take them! You're still in the early days so breakouts are to be expected :)


Started The Acne.org Regimen 2nd July 2013

 


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Yeah with any Acne treatment you're supposed to give it 3 months before judging if you should continue with it or not. Lookign at your routine, have you considered using a topical in the morning? I hated the way BP made my skin feel but I found that BP in the morning, Retin-A at night along with an Antibiotic was very effective.

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When I took antibiotics for acne my doctor told me 3 to 4 months - which ended up being true. I took doxycycline, and at another point I took bactrim, and I was on them for about 3 - 4 months before my skin was clear. That's the general 'rule' I follow for any skin treatment now - give it at least 3 months to see if it works. I think my doctor said something about 3 months being the time for all the skin layers to move up to be the surface layer or for any of the acne deep in the skin to surface... Don't quote me on that though! I'm probably remembering that part wrong because it was a while ago!

So antibiotics can work while you take them! You're still in the early days so breakouts are to be expected smile.png


My Current Treatment Plan

Morning: Lymecycline

Evening: Dianette + Epiduo

Diet: eliminated dairy

My Log:

Acne status: continuing to break out, so demoralising!

"I would rather learn what it feels like to burn than feel nothing at all." ~ Ron Pope


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When I took antibiotics for acne my doctor told me 3 to 4 months - which ended up being true. I took doxycycline, and at another point I took bactrim, and I was on them for about 3 - 4 months before my skin was clear. That's the general 'rule' I follow for any skin treatment now - give it at least 3 months to see if it works. I think my doctor said something about 3 months being the time for all the skin layers to move up to be the surface layer or for any of the acne deep in the skin to surface... Don't quote me on that though! I'm probably remembering that part wrong because it was a while ago!

So antibiotics can work while you take them! You're still in the early days so breakouts are to be expected smile.png

Thanks for the reassurance again Lilly! My doctor said that I should see some improvement from the 4-5 week mark but it might well be that she was just trying to inject a little bit of hope into my obvious despair haha! Like you, I usually give new treatments 3 months before deciding if they're working or not but for some reason I was hoping that antibiotics might work faster. I remember reading someone else's comment on these forums saying that skin sheds in a 30 day cycle so assuming that the skin has a few layers you probably are remembering what your doctor told you correctly smile.png It's really good to know that breaking out at this stage is probably normal and doesn't mean they won't work though!

Haha yeah me again - I swear I'm not stalking your posts! :P I think we might have had similar experiences with acne and treating it though

I think you should start seeing some improvements soon - even if they are just slight. But just keep in mind the 3-4 month idea. I think that's when you should be seeing more dramatic improvements hopefully :)

And yay - maybe my memory isn't as bad as I thought :P


Started The Acne.org Regimen 2nd July 2013

 


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In the past, I've taken both Oxytetracycline and Doxycycline. I started the Oxy in October '09 and I didn't clear until March 2010; similarly, the Doxycycline took me from November 2011 'til March 2012 to work. Antibiotics do eventually work, but just be prepared for your acne to eventually come back, likely worse than what it was before. The failure of Oxy to keep me clear led to me taking Doxy and, similarly, the fact that Doxy has stopped working has resulted in me going on Roaccutane from next Monday.

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Haha yeah me again - I swear I'm not stalking your posts! tongue.png I think we might have had similar experiences with acne and treating it though

I think you should start seeing some improvements soon - even if they are just slight. But just keep in mind the 3-4 month idea. I think that's when you should be seeing more dramatic improvements hopefully smile.png

And yay - maybe my memory isn't as bad as I thought tongue.png


My Current Treatment Plan

Morning: Lymecycline

Evening: Dianette + Epiduo

Diet: eliminated dairy

My Log:

Acne status: continuing to break out, so demoralising!

"I would rather learn what it feels like to burn than feel nothing at all." ~ Ron Pope


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Just make sure you keep taking it and if it is a twice a day, keep a strict schedule of a dose every 12 hrs (general rule with any antibiotics). Evenly spaces doses keep a constant stream in your system. Also, certain antibiotics have certain restrictions. Such as doxycycline. Don't take it within an hour of dairy or antacids. It decreases absorption. And expired doxycycline can be toxic. Good luck!!

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Just make sure you keep taking it and if it is a twice a day, keep a strict schedule of a dose every 12 hrs (general rule with any antibiotics). Evenly spaces doses keep a constant stream in your system. Also, certain antibiotics have certain restrictions. Such as doxycycline. Don't take it within an hour of dairy or antacids. It decreases absorption. And expired doxycycline can be toxic. Good luck!!


My Current Treatment Plan

Morning: Lymecycline

Evening: Dianette + Epiduo

Diet: eliminated dairy

My Log:

Acne status: continuing to break out, so demoralising!

"I would rather learn what it feels like to burn than feel nothing at all." ~ Ron Pope


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When I stopped antibiotics and my acne came back, I don't think it was worse than before for me. I think at first I might have though it was worse than before but I think that's because I got used to seeing clear skin for a while!

If you don't want to take accutane then you don't have to! Even if your doctor is recommending it, you don't have to take it if you're not comfortable with it. You can find another way of treating it that works for you - even if that means something like rotating antibiotics every few months (or a few months on, a few months off) and using different topicals constantly. I know that doesn't sound as appealing as taking accutane and then hopefully not having acne again (but I know what you mean about being worried of the potential side effects). Talk to your derm / doctor next time you see them and ask them 'if I don't want to take accutane, what are my options?' You might feel like you've tried everything there is but maybe trying those things in a different combination could be what works.

Last time I saw my doctor I was asking about birth control or spiro for my acne. She mentioned accutane being an option if I wanted but she wanted me to try birth control first. I ended up deciding to try the regimen before going the pill / hormonal route. Have you tried spironolactone for your acne before? There's also a treatment called SGA (sebaceous gland ablation) that's fairly new - so I'm a bit weary of it as there haven't really been any studies done on it but it's done in a few clinics in Australia and I think I heard they were looking to open clinics somewhere in the UK sometime soon. Basically, as far as I know, they take a needle and go into the sebaceous gland and destroy it with an electric impulse I think - so that means that you can't get acne from that gland anymore. It would be a long process and probably quite expensive but it's supposed to be permanent... So there may still be other options available if you don't want accutane :) If I hear anymore about where they're opening a clinic in the UK I'll let you know if you're interested.


Started The Acne.org Regimen 2nd July 2013

 


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When I stopped antibiotics and my acne came back, I don't think it was worse than before for me. I think at first I might have though it was worse than before but I think that's because I got used to seeing clear skin for a while!

If you don't want to take accutane then you don't have to! Even if your doctor is recommending it, you don't have to take it if you're not comfortable with it. You can find another way of treating it that works for you - even if that means something like rotating antibiotics every few months (or a few months on, a few months off) and using different topicals constantly. I know that doesn't sound as appealing as taking accutane and then hopefully not having acne again (but I know what you mean about being worried of the potential side effects). Talk to your derm / doctor next time you see them and ask them 'if I don't want to take accutane, what are my options?' You might feel like you've tried everything there is but maybe trying those things in a different combination could be what works.

Last time I saw my doctor I was asking about birth control or spiro for my acne. She mentioned accutane being an option if I wanted but she wanted me to try birth control first. I ended up deciding to try the regimen before going the pill / hormonal route. Have you tried spironolactone for your acne before? There's also a treatment called SGA (sebaceous gland ablation) that's fairly new - so I'm a bit weary of it as there haven't really been any studies done on it but it's done in a few clinics in Australia and I think I heard they were looking to open clinics somewhere in the UK sometime soon. Basically, as far as I know, they take a needle and go into the sebaceous gland and destroy it with an electric impulse I think - so that means that you can't get acne from that gland anymore. It would be a long process and probably quite expensive but it's supposed to be permanent... So there may still be other options available if you don't want accutane smile.png If I hear anymore about where they're opening a clinic in the UK I'll let you know if you're interested.


My Current Treatment Plan

Morning: Lymecycline

Evening: Dianette + Epiduo

Diet: eliminated dairy

My Log:

Acne status: continuing to break out, so demoralising!

"I would rather learn what it feels like to burn than feel nothing at all." ~ Ron Pope


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My derm would not prescribe antibiotics for 3-4 months unless the dosage significantly decreased. It's just not good for your body. You're basically killing ALL bacteria, good and bad. This is the reason some antibiotics can cause yeast infections in women because it changes the normal flora (good bacteria) "down there." (sorry if TMI, but it can happen). Taking a probiotic just a few times a week, not with the antibiotic, but 2-3 hours after its taken, can help keep good bacteria in your system. The other potential issue is it can wreak havoc on your digestive system for the same reason -- there's good bacteria in your GI tract and taking the antibiotics kill them all off.

The prescription bottle should list any specific instructions for taking the meds. (i.e., take with food, take on an empty stomach, do not take with antacids or magnesium supplements). I know Doxy definitely has specific instructions; I took it last year. If you are taking other meds, the antibiotic could also interact with them causing it to be less effective. If you have questions, you could always ask the pharmacist about drug interactions.

The biggest overall problem with antibiotics is the more you take, the more potential there is to become immune to their effectiveness. This is becoming a worldwide problem as certain strains of bacteria are not receptive to any antibiotics currently offered. I've already become immune to Doxy and wondered if there's other antibiotics I've become immune to as well.

That all said, I'm not trying to scare you! I'm on antibiotics myself right now (Cefadroxil, 1000/mg a day, which is a large dose). I'm doing this for 30 days, then I hope my derm will let me take a smaller dose just for a short time. (I'm also on OTC and Spiro 100mg/day).. I was told it would take a few weeks for the antibiotic to kick in, and maybe as many as four weeks, which sucks. However, I know some people have had their breakouts stop pretty quickly on this.

I have also been struggling with a hormonal imbalance which has produced cystic acne, which is brutal.

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When I stopped antibiotics and my acne came back, I don't think it was worse than before for me. I think at first I might have though it was worse than before but I think that's because I got used to seeing clear skin for a while!

If you don't want to take accutane then you don't have to! Even if your doctor is recommending it, you don't have to take it if you're not comfortable with it. You can find another way of treating it that works for you - even if that means something like rotating antibiotics every few months (or a few months on, a few months off) and using different topicals constantly. I know that doesn't sound as appealing as taking accutane and then hopefully not having acne again (but I know what you mean about being worried of the potential side effects). Talk to your derm / doctor next time you see them and ask them 'if I don't want to take accutane, what are my options?' You might feel like you've tried everything there is but maybe trying those things in a different combination could be what works.

Last time I saw my doctor I was asking about birth control or spiro for my acne. She mentioned accutane being an option if I wanted but she wanted me to try birth control first. I ended up deciding to try the regimen before going the pill / hormonal route. Have you tried spironolactone for your acne before? There's also a treatment called SGA (sebaceous gland ablation) that's fairly new - so I'm a bit weary of it as there haven't really been any studies done on it but it's done in a few clinics in Australia and I think I heard they were looking to open clinics somewhere in the UK sometime soon. Basically, as far as I know, they take a needle and go into the sebaceous gland and destroy it with an electric impulse I think - so that means that you can't get acne from that gland anymore. It would be a long process and probably quite expensive but it's supposed to be permanent... So there may still be other options available if you don't want accutane smile.png If I hear anymore about where they're opening a clinic in the UK I'll let you know if you're interested.

Oh no, I literally can't deal with it coming back worse than before, it would just be too much for me. sad.png

I've always said that I really don't want to take Roaccutane because of the side effects but if I did end up with acne worse than it was before these treatments then I think I'd have to unless I could find an effective alternative. My doctor really freaked me out the last time I saw her by bringing up Roaccutane and saying I'd be a good candidate for it. Hearing that was so disheartening! I knew my acne was bad, but the look she gave me when I came in the room made me feel like it must have been some of the worst she'd seen sad.png At the moment it's so much better than it was a month or two ago though so hopefully there are other things I can try that might keep it vaguely under control. I have a dermatology appointment in September so I will definitely do as you suggest and ask what my options are if I don't want to go down the Roaccutane route. I really really hope they can offer me some alternatives!!

I'm on Dianette/Diane-35 at the moment (I started it about a week before the antibiotics) and I'm really hoping that will work for me as I know my hormones were pretty out of whack before I started taking it. The problem I'll then have is that even if it does clear me up they won't usually prescribe it for more than 6 months because of the higher risk of blood clots and no doubt as soon as I stopped it the acne would all come back again anyway. Some people say that it comes back worse after taking birth control and if it's the same with antibiotics then it sounds like I'm in for a seriously rough ride! I'd love to be able to take Spironolactone instead because I've heard such good things about it but they don't prescribe it for acne in the UK at all as far as I know. Maybe I could ask the dermatologist about it though.

The SGA treatment you mention sounds interesting. Like you, I think I'd be a bit wary of it with it being so new and seemingly quite invasive but I'd still be interested to hear if you find out anything about them opening a clinic in the UK. No doubt it would be pretty expensive as well of course but if it was actually a permanent solution it would be tempting as long as they could prove it would be safe and not cause long-term damage. You never know, by the time they open one in the UK I might just be desperate enough to try anything!

Thanks again for all your support and advice Lilly! By the way, how is the Regimen working for you at the moment? I really hope it's going well smile.png

Oops maybe I should've been clearer! I didn't mean to make you more worried about your skin! - When I stopped antibiotics and my acne returned I don't think it was worse than before. It was the same as before. I just thought it looked worse at first because I'd become used to seeing clear skin for a little while. Yes it's annoying that the results don't always last but I've seen some threads around here where people have stopped antibiotics and had clear skin for a number of months after! Maybe that will be the case for you! Either way, try not to focus on that too much now. Worry about that if it happens :)

Hopefully your derm appointment does help you. Asking about spiro then would be a good idea too. Like I said, my doc suggested accutane to me too and when I told my mum about this she was so surprised! She thought it was only the really severe cases that would be prescribed it and didn't believe me when I told her a lot of people use it for mild acne or even just oily skin. I guess that's comforting in a way that my mum didn't think my skin was severely bad? haha

But don't be disheartened that accutane was mentioned to you. It seems to be prescribed for any type of acne these days. I feel like some doctors want you to take it or just assume that you want to take it because you're pressumably over dealing with acne. I completely understand why people take accutane - I'm just not sure it's something I want to take (at least not yet anyway).

Diane is one of the pills I was considering starting for my acne too. I've heard that can take around 4 months before really showing results in your skin. Hopefully it (in combination with the other things you're doing) works well for you!

And no worries :) glad to be able to help or offer support where I can!

The regimen has been going pretty well for me lately which is great. I have a log going but haven't written a proper update for a little while... I plan to add in AHA in the next week. Thanks for asking :)


Started The Acne.org Regimen 2nd July 2013

 


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Oops maybe I should've been clearer! I didn't mean to make you more worried about your skin! - When I stopped antibiotics and my acne returned I don't think it was worse than before. It was the same as before. I just thought it looked worse at first because I'd become used to seeing clear skin for a little while. Yes it's annoying that the results don't always last but I've seen some threads around here where people have stopped antibiotics and had clear skin for a number of months after! Maybe that will be the case for you! Either way, try not to focus on that too much now. Worry about that if it happens smile.png

Hopefully your derm appointment does help you. Asking about spiro then would be a good idea too. Like I said, my doc suggested accutane to me too and when I told my mum about this she was so surprised! She thought it was only the really severe cases that would be prescribed it and didn't believe me when I told her a lot of people use it for mild acne or even just oily skin. I guess that's comforting in a way that my mum didn't think my skin was severely bad? haha

But don't be disheartened that accutane was mentioned to you. It seems to be prescribed for any type of acne these days. I feel like some doctors want you to take it or just assume that you want to take it because you're pressumably over dealing with acne. I completely understand why people take accutane - I'm just not sure it's something I want to take (at least not yet anyway).

Diane is one of the pills I was considering starting for my acne too. I've heard that can take around 4 months before really showing results in your skin. Hopefully it (in combination with the other things you're doing) works well for you!

And no worries smile.png glad to be able to help or offer support where I can!

The regimen has been going pretty well for me lately which is great. I have a log going but haven't written a proper update for a little while... I plan to add in AHA in the next week. Thanks for asking smile.png

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My Current Treatment Plan

Morning: Lymecycline

Evening: Dianette + Epiduo

Diet: eliminated dairy

My Log:

Acne status: continuing to break out, so demoralising!

"I would rather learn what it feels like to burn than feel nothing at all." ~ Ron Pope


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My derm would not prescribe antibiotics for 3-4 months unless the dosage significantly decreased. It's just not good for your body. You're basically killing ALL bacteria, good and bad. This is the reason some antibiotics can cause yeast infections in women because it changes the normal flora (good bacteria) "down there." (sorry if TMI, but it can happen). Taking a probiotic just a few times a week, not with the antibiotic, but 2-3 hours after its taken, can help keep good bacteria in your system. The other potential issue is it can wreak havoc on your digestive system for the same reason -- there's good bacteria in your GI tract and taking the antibiotics kill them all off.

The prescription bottle should list any specific instructions for taking the meds. (i.e., take with food, take on an empty stomach, do not take with antacids or magnesium supplements). I know Doxy definitely has specific instructions; I took it last year. If you are taking other meds, the antibiotic could also interact with them causing it to be less effective. If you have questions, you could always ask the pharmacist about drug interactions.

The biggest overall problem with antibiotics is the more you take, the more potential there is to become immune to their effectiveness. This is becoming a worldwide problem as certain strains of bacteria are not receptive to any antibiotics currently offered. I've already become immune to Doxy and wondered if there's other antibiotics I've become immune to as well.

That all said, I'm not trying to scare you! I'm on antibiotics myself right now (Cefadroxil, 1000/mg a day, which is a large dose). I'm doing this for 30 days, then I hope my derm will let me take a smaller dose just for a short time. (I'm also on OTC and Spiro 100mg/day).. I was told it would take a few weeks for the antibiotic to kick in, and maybe as many as four weeks, which sucks. However, I know some people have had their breakouts stop pretty quickly on this.

I have also been struggling with a hormonal imbalance which has produced cystic acne, which is brutal.


My Current Treatment Plan

Morning: Lymecycline

Evening: Dianette + Epiduo

Diet: eliminated dairy

My Log:

Acne status: continuing to break out, so demoralising!

"I would rather learn what it feels like to burn than feel nothing at all." ~ Ron Pope


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In the past, I've taken both Oxytetracycline and Doxycycline. I started the Oxy in October '09 and I didn't clear until March 2010; similarly, the Doxycycline took me from November 2011 'til March 2012 to work. Antibiotics do eventually work, but just be prepared for your acne to eventually come back, likely worse than what it was before. The failure of Oxy to keep me clear led to me taking Doxy and, similarly, the fact that Doxy has stopped working has resulted in me going on Roaccutane from next Monday.

Thank you for the reply smile.png It's good to know that I'm not meant to be seeing results yet so I will give it a bit more time before I start to panic! I'm not too reassured by you saying that my acne will come back worse though unsure.png does that always happen?! I literally couldn't cope with it coming back worse than before because before I started on this treatment it had got so bad that the cysts were making my eyes, lips and glands swell up and my whole face was constantly throbbing with pain. How many different antibiotics do they usually try you on before resorting to Roaccutane? I really want to avoid taking Roaccutane because I don't trust it with the side-effects at all. I really hope it goes well for you though! I'd be interested to see your progress with it.

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Hey, sorry it's took me a while to reply - been in work. I wouldn't worry about it at all as it doesn't always come back worse for all people. By way of example, my skin in September-October 2011 really was terrible and a lot worse than it was pre-Oxy, however even now it's nowhere near as bad as it was then, despite coming off the Doxycycline. Just keep taking your course like your doctor recommended and, hopefully, in another 1-2 months you should be gaining clear skin. Good luck! smile.png

I'm quite nervous about starting Roaccutane but, for me, this feels like the right time. I put up with acne all through my university life and it completely changed me as a person - I'm fast approaching 23 and this thing isn't going on its own or with any other treatments the docs seem to have. Time to call in the big guns!

I think if in another 2 or 3 years I'm still dealing with acne or it's gotten worse, I'll start considering accutane more seriously. The idea of having finished uni and to be entering the 'professional workforce' and to still be dealing with acne really gets to me... it's been hard enough dealing with it through uni (like you said).

Good luck for when you start Roaccutane :) Not much longer to wait now!


Started The Acne.org Regimen 2nd July 2013

 


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Hey, sorry it's took me a while to reply - been in work. I wouldn't worry about it at all as it doesn't always come back worse for all people. By way of example, my skin in September-October 2011 really was terrible and a lot worse than it was pre-Oxy, however even now it's nowhere near as bad as it was then, despite coming off the Doxycycline. Just keep taking your course like your doctor recommended and, hopefully, in another 1-2 months you should be gaining clear skin. Good luck! smile.png

I'm quite nervous about starting Roaccutane but, for me, this feels like the right time. I put up with acne all through my university life and it completely changed me as a person - I'm fast approaching 23 and this thing isn't going on its own or with any other treatments the docs seem to have. Time to call in the big guns!

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My Current Treatment Plan

Morning: Lymecycline

Evening: Dianette + Epiduo

Diet: eliminated dairy

My Log:

Acne status: continuing to break out, so demoralising!

"I would rather learn what it feels like to burn than feel nothing at all." ~ Ron Pope


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I started DUAC (clindamycin + BP) 2 days ago and I've already noticed an improvement. But I'm coming from a well developed regime of salicylic(?) acid so maybe that's why.

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Hi!

When I came off the pill in march this year I started to get quite bad acne (for me) after a couple of months that I couldn't control so I went to see a doctor.

I had comedons (I think they're called?) and a couple of really deep, painful zits that took ages to clear and I think a have a few scars as well, not sure yet. Mostly on my forehead, sides of my nose and chin. Not TOO bad but I was totally devastated anyway.

I was on erythromycin for about three months, started in june, ended about a week ago. It worked really fast! In the beginning I took four capsules a day and I think in just a few days I was almost completely clear. Obviously only the inflamed acne went away, I still have blackheads and a few bumps that turn red sometimes. I was supposed to use Differin gel as well but since it was the summer and I really wanted to be in the sun (I also went on vacation to a really warm and sunny place, and I burn quite easily anyway) I didn't use it.

So now that it's starting to get colder I'm going to start using the Differin gel to get rid of my last few spots.

So for me the antibiotics worked straight away!

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Wow I think it's really strange how everyone's saying it will take a couple of months for the antibiotics to work... seriously it's powerful stuff, the infections will clear really quick!

However after a while they won't work so good since the bacteria grow resistant to the medicine.

So I really don't want to take them again, hopefully I'll stay like this for a while at least... maybe I'll post some before and after pics.

My stomach is quite upset as well, It's not working like it normally does... really annoying.

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