has anyone effectively been cured of acne after a long course of antibiotics? if the theory of some kind of bad gut bacteria were true, and an antibotic eradicated it and let the good flora repopulate it is conceivable that an antibiotic could cure acne.
asked byGreensun (476)
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on July 03, 2012
at 06:47 AM
Contrary to what has always been believed before many researchers now speculate that antibiotics are effective against acne not so much because of their antibacterial effects but more because their anti-inflammatory effect.
It's also mistake to say that antibiotics kill all the bacteria from the gut. It depends on the antibiotic. Some do affect the benefitial bacteria in the gut, some antibiotics don't affect them.
As to can eradicating bad bateria from the cure acne, probably not. For a few reasons. First, you can't cure acne. Acne happens because of genetics make acne-prone skin extra sensitive to hormones and also increase the inflammatory response to bacteria and pathogens. More about genes and acne here
What we can do is manage acne. And that's always an ongoing process. As acne patients we are unfortunate enough to have higher levels of systemic inflammation in the body - probably at least partly because increased sebum production puts more strain on the body's antioxidant system.
In managing systemic inflammation gut problems is just one part. Studies have shown that eradicating SIBO with antibiotics also helps the skin. I now don't remember how long those studies were, but I would guess that unless you follow that up with probiotics, fermented foods, etc the results will be short-lived.
Lastly, persistent acne cases usually also require topical treatments. Very often even the healthiest diet and lifestyle is not enough to complete eradicate acne. Simply because acne-prone skin is so sensitive to hormones that even normal levels of testosterone lead to high sebum production.
on February 16, 2013
at 10:36 AM
Here's my best understanding of it all..
The spots are caused by an immune reaction to the bacteria in you pores, but in most cases that bacteria was causing no problems, it's just an overactive immune system.
The immune system is overactive because most of your immune response is controlled by the communication between the bacteria in your gut and the GI tract.
In a healthy gut, 'good' bacteria is thriving. There doesn't seem to be any one set of 'good' bacteria but friendly ones produce various neurotransmitters which bind to receptors in the gut.
When healthy gut bacteria have a strong presence in the gut and communicate that to the GI tract, inflammation is shutdown. This makes sense since good bacteria suppress the bad stuff.
When you take antibiotics, you wipe out good and bad bacteria, and for some reason the bad stuff comes back quicker and suppresses the good bacteria. Thus increasing the inflammation response, causing more acne.
You can manipulate your diet, low O6 as O6 increases inflammation directly, or low carb to reduce the amount of food for the bad bacteria. This works, but it's similar to the pills a doctor gives you, it only covers up your symptoms, the bad bacteria is still there, starving it to death is next to impossible. In fact, eating a low kcal diet can weaken your immune system and make your problems worse.
The real cure for acne and all auto-immune diseases caused by gut dysbiosis (most of em) with a fantastic success rate is... faecal transplants! Taking someone's healthy poop and stuffing it up your backside. Probiotics have some success, particularly when used as an enema.
Your health problems are caused by the sea of parasites in your gut, a kilo of filth right in the middle of you. Really the key to good health seems to be healthy gut biota, but achieving that once it's damaged is a bit tricky.
on July 03, 2012
at 11:32 AM
I can share my experience. I took antibiotics every day for 5 years, and rotated through a lot of different ones. My face would be clear for the first few weeks to a month of a new antibiotic, and my acne would slowly come back. After 5 years I finally decided to quit after being diagnosed with Celiac disease in hopes that cutting out gluten would solve my acne.
I cut out gluten, stopped the antibiotics, and my face broke out worse than it ever has in my life leaving me with a lot of scarring.
I would advise against antibiotic use for acne speaking strictly from experience. It screwed up my digestion all the time and never stopped my acne.
on July 03, 2012
at 03:12 AM
Its a short term bandage and it can help but the acne will inevitably come back AND your GI tract will be even more unhealthy from killing the good flora (bacteria) in the gut along with the bad.
Also, antibiotics dont help your acne by killing "bad gut bacteria" they help by killing bacteria in your pores. Big difference. I could be wrong but don't think so... you might want to clarify this with your doctor.
If you do take antibiotics for acne then it is absolutely crucial to your health that you replenish your GI tract. This will take a high dose of probiotics for 2-4 weeks (or longer).
This is not inexpensive but is crucial. Killing off all the good bacteria and upsetting the flora in your GI tract will cause you lots of healthy issues down the road.
In summary: Antibiotics are a short term, albeit effective for many, solution to acne.
Antiobiotics will make your GI tract unhealthy and you will need to replace healthy bacteria that was killed.
on July 03, 2012
at 01:46 AM
Well there aaaare acne antibiotics...maybe not your most healthy route but if you've run out of alternatives, try it..!
on September 16, 2014
at 09:38 AM
Your age can have an impact too. My older son (mid 20s) is off his anti biotics and no skin problems. His teenage brother's skin is almost totally cleared by the anitbiotics. When he started drinking pints of milk in the summer to put on some weight (he's very skinny) his skin got bad and now he's off milk he is fine again (I am not a milk fan myself as it makes my nose run)
I think for some particularly self conscious teenage boys any downsides of taking anti biotics are worth bearing (unless it's roaccutane and you're suicidal) compared with the effect on you psychologically of having very bad skin and I write that as someone who never myself takes a pill and has not been to a doctor in nearly 10 years.
on September 11, 2014
at 09:28 PM
I am a testament to not using antibiotics for acne. I developed severe cystic acne when I was 19 and have taken multiple types of antibiotics over the years and two courses of Accutane. I'm now 41 and last year, went Paleo after much research regarding my acne (this was after 2 rounds of different antibiotics didn't clear up my skin, and I got the worst vaginal yeast infection I've ever had).
For months I took supplements to kill of a yeast overgrowth I had developed because of the antibiotics. I took glutamine and probiotics on an empty stomach multiple times a day. I took liver clearing supplements. I also also took turmeric for the inflammation.
With all this work, I healed my gut and my skin started to clear up after about 7-8 months. The final breakthrough I had was taking Taurine to clear my liver even more and taking DIM+, saw palmetto and vitex.
For me, the acne seems to be caused by gut imbalance plus excess hormones. I continue to take many of the supplements daily.
You'll have to figure out your own unique situation. Do not take antibiotics. They are a band-aid. You need to figure out what is causing your inflammation.
on September 11, 2014
at 11:43 AM
You sure may - it is very present with treat acne with anti-biotics. The majority of require your doctor in order to prescribe them although. So firstly take doctors advice.
on March 01, 2013
at 04:28 AM
Just curious,does anyone have really good benefits from sun and tanning beds? Ive quit because of cancer concern, but when i used to tan, all my face and body acne completely disappeared and i think it was because it made me feel really good, which decreased the inflammation in my body by a lot, increased vitamin D production, and killed the bacteria on my skin. I think we all need these mulit area treatments to combat acne. And yes, wheat is a possible inflamitory area for almost every human alive...stick to veggies n meat. And gross, but Rowan on here is prob right. We are all sorta like mini eco systems, and we need to have bacterias to live well...dont use blanket antibiotics!
on February 16, 2013
at 09:15 AM
I would like to add to my previous answer about antibiotics and Accutane etc. In my opinion acne is a symptom of another issue in your body. Accutance, antibiotics etc target the acne rather than the underlying condition. they bring about short-term relief, but you're acne more than likely will come back.
An antibiotic may not kill every good organism in the intestines etc, but if it targets just one type of bacteria, it will tend to wipe it out. Even a slight imbalance in your fut flora is enough for other bacteria to take up that space. Bacteria and fungus multiply insanely fast so if there is a small gap for them that can give them the opportunity to really spread and dominate in a way they weren't able to before and can lead very easily to a chronic overgrowth.
If you look at people on here or other forums and all over the net it takes people with a gut imbalance/dysbiosis many years to overcome their problem. Don't take that lightly. The bacteria can grow so quickly they are incredibly stubborn and difficult to overcome.
Probiotics generally are over-marketed, particularly int he sense of these yogurts and little drinks etc. But I would say that acne products are much more over-marketed- we're talking big pharmaceutical here. They sell the antibiotics which only work in the short-term so a) you have to go back for more time and again, and b) you still keep buying and using all the products like washes etc which they're also making.
on February 15, 2013
at 09:31 AM
I had terrible acne when I was a teen and in my 20s too. I was on various antibiotics and eventually a drug called Roaccutane that was so strong I had to keep getting my liver checked out while taking them. I think this drug also caused depression and led to a number of suicides.
All the while I was using various face scrubs washes etc.
The result of all this was I am now dealing with a chronic gut dysbiosis that I've been trying to overcome for a few years now.
What eventually made me skin start to heal was changing my diet and skin regime. Skin reflects your inner health, so if you;re having skin problems, likelihood is your having some kind of other problem that your body is trying to warn you about. Having gotten tested for food intolerances etc I have found my skin to really clear up by eating low carb and eliminating those foods which cause me problems. I also now use nothing on my skin. All these products for acne basically try the hell out of your skin, which means your body I think is going to naturally try and produce mroe oil/sebum to compensate, which is going to mean more acne.
So my advice would be to try something like kinesiology to find the right diet for you. I'm not saying what I did will work for everyone. I'd also recommend stopping get caught into the whole acne cure product trap- just ways for people to make money off the back of someone's problems and distress.
Acne is horrible, it really effects how you feel about yourself. I know that first hand. Its easy to think I must take the antibiotics because they seem to work and I really want to get rid of this stuff! But they don't work. The acne keeps coming back and keeps coming back because ultimately the antibiotics create and worsen the inner conditions that bring the acne about in the first place. Same goes for the washes etc.
I'm afraid you need to see it as a longer-term battle, not a month or two, but months if not years. This is the only way to really get control of the acne in my opinion.
So get yourself checked for food intolerance and optimum diet- I have found kinesiology very good for this.
Stop washing etc with harsh products- they are just extra damage for your skin.
If you really want to use something on your skin I'd say just stick to water for washing and add a little coconut oil to acne areas.
This has really worked for me. Whenever I eat a food I've excluded I get a break out and so i know not to eat that food anymore. This is usually something like bread.cheese or something sugary. Oh and alcohol in particular is possibly the worst thing.
on February 15, 2013
at 06:13 AM
Earlier this year I broke out terribly with trying every remedy known to man. Then I started taking Adoxa 100mg 1-2 times per day (please take with food or after eating). Within days I saw a difference...my acne started to dry up. In a nutshell doxycycline saved my face and esteem...highly recommend it.
on January 22, 2013
at 11:15 PM
Accutane I hear works wonders. Never tried. Not paleo.
Pure oregano oil applied to the area (away from the inside membranes of your nostrils and eye tissue) every evening dries the hell out of it personally.
on January 22, 2013
at 11:12 PM
I was on antibiotics for two months becuase i had mild back acne. The doctor prescribed me doxycycline and I was convinced I would be completely clear in about a month. This was not the case. My acne became 10 times worse and when I followed up with the doctor she said this was normal and to apply vinegar to get rid of the white heads. I couldn't believe how bad my acne was after two months and I just said screw the antibiotics. I did a two day juice fast with just cucumber and cellery and some carrots and afterwards tried my best to lower my sugar intake. I took probiotics and milk thiste and cut back on drinking and saw amazing results. Its been four months and I have no more acne on my back and I'm just left some hyper pigmentation. Fruits caused me to break out like apples and oranges as well as coffee so now I'm convinced that acne is part of having an unhealthy gut. If your body can't digest properly everything will get filtered out your skin. Antibiotics are not the answer and never will be for acne. I'm in my mid twenties and had to figure this out the hard way but I finally figured it out.
on July 04, 2012
at 04:23 AM
No offense Shawn, but you probably should have stayed on the antibiotics or something.
I hate this, but I quit using topicals for my face about 4 months ago and tried to "heal" holistically and well, I wish I had continued using benzoyl peroxide. I'm back to my old ways because my face looks well, unhealthy. I hope that one day I won't need BP or topicals, and I'm opposed to oral antibiotics, but after following the directions of a naturopath for about 1 month (I simply got worse), I'm not going to wait around for a holistic/paleo cure, whatever that might be? (Gut healing, probably) while my face looks like sh*t. I'd rather get clear using whatever means necessary and /then/ experiment to see if I can stay that way w/ diet and exercise.
In conclusion, I'm not sure about oral antibiotics---they never cured me either, nothing did and I can identify w/ Shawn here--but I would highly recommend that you use a gentle cleanser, 2.5% benzoyl peroxide or another topical, and a moisturizer w/ SPF. Give yourself about 1-2 months and see if that can't clear up acne for you. Unless you have chronic cystic acne, you will probably clear up. Apply the stuff 2x a day, do not overwash your face, and make sure not to get too dry. Use "non-comedogenic" products--it's not a guarantee that they won't break you out, but it helps. I use the new cleanser and moisturizer from the Cetaphil line for acne-prone skin.
The most important deal is to be persistent for at least one month before you toss out the BP. It's unpleasant stuff and it can bleach clothes and hair, so take care, but by God, it works if you let it, and it's inexpensive--a lot less expensive than taking a million supplements so you can "naturally" heal by megadosing on vitamin A or something. Seriously.
All that said, I support Paleo attempts to preclude the use of antibiotics--I just haven't seen results from diet...yet...and I'm not willing to wait while my face gives me crippling social anxiety and sends me into a depressive death spiral. It's a cruel world and people are shallow.