Doctors and dermatologists are prescribing oral and topical antibiotics for acne less often than they did in the past. This is because they:
- Create resistant strains of bacteria, a dangerous and highly-concerning global phenomenon.
- Do not work for everyone, particularly for people who have resistant strains of bacteria. This makes up 50% of the population at this point.
- Only partially work when they do work at all. Research shows us that antibiotics do not completely clear acne. This is why they are almost always prescribed alongside other acne treatments.
- Are only a temporary help when they do work at all. Antibiotics should not be used for longer than 6 months, with many physicians advising a 3 month cut off. Acne reasserts itself when they are stopped.
- Are replaceable with many other safer options that work just as well. For instance, even something as simple as oral zinc supplementation has been shown to work as well as oral antibiotics. When it comes to topical antibiotics, the over-the-counter medication benzoyl peroxide kills bacteria far more effectively, and never causes resistant strains of bacteria.
It is hard to find a reason to use antibiotics for acne, so if your doctor prescribes them, be sure to ask if there are other, safer and more effective medications that you might try.