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Should You Use Antibiotics for Acne?

Choosing the right treatment for acne can be hard because there are so many out there, but you need to ensure that whatever you are picking is going to work and ensure that you are getting what is best for your skincare.

It might feel difficult knowing what to pick because there is so much out there and you might feel like you are not sure what to do considering you aren’t a dermatologist that knows the ins and outs of what does and doesn’t work well for acne. Acne is a problem that can be solved with patience and consistency but know the actual medicines or things to look for. 

One of the most asked questions when it comes to treating acne is the use of antibiotics. What are they? How do they work? Will they work for me? How do I get them? These are all common things people may ask regarding acne treatment, and here are some helpful answers to help show you what you may need to know about antibiotics.

How Severe is Your Acne?

One of the first things you need to consider is the existing condition of your acne. Not all acne is incredibly severe, some people only happen to deal with one or two blemishes now and then, while some people can have serious acne problems. If you are dealing with those few blemishes, then antibiotics might not be necessary because your acne situation is very mild. On the other hand, you may need to treat acne with this method because you are dealing with an outbreak that is significantly more serious. Your acne outbreaks could be manageable with some simple steps that won’t require you to use antibiotics.

Using antibiotics is not always just for severe acne outbreaks either, some people have been prescribed if a particular area is under stress from bacterial growth and it is constant, or if their few blemishes are significantly more pronounced than other ones. Regardless, antibacterial treatments will vary depending on how bad your acne situation is, and from there you can act according to your needs.

What Types of Antibacterial Treatments are There?

Your acne treatment will depend on your current situation. With more mild cases, you will need less treatment and vice versa for severe acne cases. This also means that there are different kinds of antibacterial treatments and applications too. The two most common types of antibacterial treatments are topical creams and oral antibacterial drugs.

The first, the topical, can be combined with other treatments like topical retinoids or benzoyl peroxide if those treatments didn’t work on their own or together. When combined with those other treatments it can expedite the process or strengthen the treatment. The second option, the oral antibacterial drugs, are for serious conditions and should be prescribed by a doctor to help ensure that you are safe. These drugs can have a much more pronounced effect on the body which means you can’t stay on them for very long.

Are Antibacterial Drugs Safe?

With that in mind, you might be wondering how safe antibacterial drugs are for dealing with acne. The short answer is that they are safe, but as with any medicine or drug, there are varying degrees of truth to that kind of statement. Existing conditions or prescriptions may interfere with the antibiotics and cause them to either not work, or have side effects. Similarly, it would be unwise for a pregnant woman to take a strong antibacterial for acne treatment because the effects on the body through the bloodstream could impact the baby. 

None of that is meant to scare you or anyone who may be interested in antibacterial treatments for acne. It is important to be informed that they don’t work the same way on person A to person B, they will vary, but for the most part, they are safe when used at the correct dosage or the correct amount of application for topicals.

What Other Options Have You Tried?

If you have tried just about every treatment under the sun but your face or body is still dealing heavily with acne, then it could be time for antibacterials. You need to consider what options you tried before that did or didn’t work and stick with the ones that did to retain some modicum of success. Treating acne is not a one-time thing and persistence is important to eventually see results. Some treatments can take weeks before you see any meaningful change. Benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or retinol may be active ingredients in treatments you have tried, but they need some time to work. 

If you have exhausted all of those options, checked what common ingredients worked from treatment to treatment, and feel you need some serious help then you can always reach out to your doctor. Not everything is going to work, but there are also a lot of options that you need to experiment with (in safe manners) to find the benefits, if you truly feel that antibiotics can help, then your next step is to see your doctor.

Have You Discussed With Your Doctor?

Reaching out to your doctor, or better yet a dermatologist is likely the next logical step after exhausting your efforts and resources on numerous treatments. Some people’s skin is going to be resilient and the acne will not succumb to many treatments. The doctor or dermatologist can provide you with a prescription for a stronger antibiotic if they feel you need the help or help you figure out which over-the-counter topical could be useful for you.

The point is that you need to speak to them as a professional resource. They have likely seen conditions worse than yours which means they will know what does and doesn’t work, and at worst, you may find out that they think you will get over it in due time naturally.

Choosing a good acne treatment is tough because you might not know where to start or what to look for, thankfully, there is plenty of information out there to help give you an informed decision. This list shows you what kinds of questions to ask yourself when considering if you need antibiotics for acne, and how to navigate this tough question.

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