6

votes

Why minocycline antibiotic works effectively for acne?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 31, 2012 at 7:03 AM

Hey all,

Reflecting on my past I realise that the only clear skin I have achieved was when I was on minocycline. I have tried lots of diets, a few different antibiotics with varying improvements but Minocycline was king and totally clear.

I regret all past antibiotic usage but I just wonder what is the mechanism through which the antibiotic works so effectively and how I can try to mimic those effects naturally through diet where reasonable. I read that minocycline reduces inflammation (possible through diet I would also think?) and also reduces free fatty acids in the skin (possibly the main mechanism). In light of Peats recommendations to lower FFA via minimal PUFA consumption maybe I should limit my O3 consumption through reducing fish?

Paleo diet helps for sure (and helped best when I first started ketogenic and perhaps calorie deficient) but never solved my problem (can be a long process I know!).

I follow a strict diet with staples such as:
Coconut oil, beef tallow
gf beef (ground, kidney, hanger), lamb variety of offals inc liver and either sardines or salmon daily
sweet potato&squash (late day / post-WO), Parsley spinach coriander kale, broccoli cauliflower, turmeric ginger spices.
No fruits (rare consumption of seabuckthorn berry) or dairy
Supplement daily Zinc pilc 25mg, 5000 IU d3, 300-600mg mag cit, k2 mk4 1mg, low mcg of iodine when I wake.

Any ideas? Thx

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on April 26, 2012
at 03:26 PM

Reducing the bacteria on facial skin won't do anything, because bacteria is not the primary cause of acne, nor is it the only cause. If you somehow managed to sterilize your entire face, neck and upper body and managed to kill every last bacterium, you still wouldn't solve your acne problem.

535fafe8afe6923870905c707c4f4454

(720)

on April 26, 2012
at 01:26 PM

I still don't have the answer!! Just recently found the most interesting study related to acne I've read: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2835893/

535fafe8afe6923870905c707c4f4454

(720)

on February 22, 2012
at 11:25 AM

Yes a very common trend I've witnessed online, is after treating acne with antibiotics is for the acne to come back MORE severe. I think destroyed gut flora/leaky gut is a very logical explanation for this effect.

535fafe8afe6923870905c707c4f4454

(720)

on February 22, 2012
at 11:23 AM

So you think it is as simple as reducing the bacteria in the facial skin? I always thought this was way too simplistic (acne=bacteria, antibiotic kills bacteria) when there could be other factors at play. I suppose the theory you proposed has major implications for gut health and pretty much everything ties back to gut health these days.

Ef089e1180f240aa9fd2d089f7f38b45

(279)

on February 22, 2012
at 10:18 AM

I'm guessing the gut flora change has some negative effects in long term due killing the good bacteria at the same time. Also, it is often mentioned on internet forums that resistance comes in and the drug becomes less effective over time.

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on January 31, 2012
at 07:22 PM

Thank you - very helpful direction. I will check him out.

685e3c967e63b4eacccf02628fd9a3ac

(1026)

on January 31, 2012
at 09:04 AM

So, are there any natural ways to fight those bacteria?

685e3c967e63b4eacccf02628fd9a3ac

(1026)

on January 31, 2012
at 08:21 AM

I'd try out the Ray Peat protocol. You have nothing to lose. I'd experiment with selenium and retinol too...

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on January 31, 2012
at 08:01 AM

I'm curious about this too; my DH has severe rosacea that only responds to minocycline. We eat a broad variety of whole organic/grass fed foods, no grains, no other NAD, daily probiotics, lots of sleep, minimal stress, the whole nine yards...but still breakouts severe and unremitting enough to require antibiotic intervention.

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10 Answers

7
36ba71ea8bc4f736f4113433fde572bd

(347)

on January 31, 2012
at 12:07 PM

Dr Art Ayers thinks differently. He thinks rosacea and acne are inflammatory in nature. He thinks that inflammation is mediated by balancing pro- and anti-inflammatory components of your immune system. If you want to search the literature, he's talking about Tregs or regulatory T cells. The bulk of your Tregs are incubated in your gut lymphocytes. Gut bacteria control which way Tregs mature -- into either pro- or anti-inflammatory Tregs.

So, a poor balance of gut bacteria leads to a poor balance of Tregs, and thus chronic inflammation, and things like rosacea and acne.

The reason antibiotics works is because they kill a lot of your gut bacteria, depressing the overall population and temporarily changing the balance. But when you stop the antibiotics, the poor balance returns and the inflammation returns.

I can't vouch for his model myself, but I think Dr Ayers is smarter than me and I think the hypothesis is interesting. You could read his blog for more, particularly the comments, he carries on extensive conversations there.

According to that model, you need to restore a healthy balance of gut microbes, and you do that by carefully adding unwashed or gently rinsed raw organic produce to your diet.

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on January 31, 2012
at 07:22 PM

Thank you - very helpful direction. I will check him out.

Ef089e1180f240aa9fd2d089f7f38b45

(279)

on February 22, 2012
at 10:18 AM

I'm guessing the gut flora change has some negative effects in long term due killing the good bacteria at the same time. Also, it is often mentioned on internet forums that resistance comes in and the drug becomes less effective over time.

535fafe8afe6923870905c707c4f4454

(720)

on February 22, 2012
at 11:25 AM

Yes a very common trend I've witnessed online, is after treating acne with antibiotics is for the acne to come back MORE severe. I think destroyed gut flora/leaky gut is a very logical explanation for this effect.

3
Cf4576cbcc44fc7f2294135609bce9e5

on January 31, 2012
at 09:00 AM

the causative agent of acne is caused by the bacterium propionibacterium acnes, this species of anaerobic bacteria is susceptible to the class of antibiotic called tetracycline's.

685e3c967e63b4eacccf02628fd9a3ac

(1026)

on January 31, 2012
at 09:04 AM

So, are there any natural ways to fight those bacteria?

2
62442eec80b7d248ccfa08f98f736748

on February 22, 2012
at 12:17 AM

the answer about acne being caused by bacterium propioni is spot on. tetracyclines work by binding cations (like calcium) and thereby disrupting bacterial cell walls. make sure you don't the drugs past their expiration date (can lead to nephrotoxicity) and don't take with any calcium foods or supplements as the drug will bind it. also a big no no for pregnant women!

not sure how to mimic or effect this "naturally". but couldn't pass up any opportunity to elucidate some knowledge i have to know for my upcoming med school bacteriology exam!

535fafe8afe6923870905c707c4f4454

(720)

on February 22, 2012
at 11:23 AM

So you think it is as simple as reducing the bacteria in the facial skin? I always thought this was way too simplistic (acne=bacteria, antibiotic kills bacteria) when there could be other factors at play. I suppose the theory you proposed has major implications for gut health and pretty much everything ties back to gut health these days.

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on April 26, 2012
at 03:26 PM

Reducing the bacteria on facial skin won't do anything, because bacteria is not the primary cause of acne, nor is it the only cause. If you somehow managed to sterilize your entire face, neck and upper body and managed to kill every last bacterium, you still wouldn't solve your acne problem.

1
Fa827367db96e402bd1446081c53eb4a

(26)

on May 06, 2013
at 06:40 AM

Didn't experience any side effects. Took it during early spring so over exposure of sun was not an issue. Cleared up all my under the skin acne (large, red, inflamed zits that could be very painful). After two months of taking this Minocycline medication I stopped and now have no acne. It's been three months and I'm very satisfied since I've fought with bad acne for six years now.

1
3058079ae822f066c06e55071d74b634

(164)

on May 02, 2012
at 02:10 PM

Minocycline and all the tetracycline antibiotics inhibit a matrix metalloproteinase in the skin that is involved in dermal inflammation. That's why sub-anti microbial doses of doxycycline (like oracea) are useful in rosacea, in which the repeated vasodilation of hyper reactive vessels results in inflammation of the skin.

I think antibiotics can be useful to get things back to a normal state as far as enzyme activity in the skin goes, but don't tend to use them long term for acne. They do alter normal flora, and have a myriad of other possible side effects. There are multiple issues that contribute to acne besides inflammation. Comedogenesis, sebum production (influenced by sex steroid hormones), and bacterial overgrowth, among others, are involved. One size will not fit all for treating it.

1
3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on April 26, 2012
at 03:23 PM

ANYONE WHO THINKS ACNE IS CAUSED PRIMARILY BY BACTERIA HASN'T DONE THE PROPER RESEARCH.

No amount of washing your face with astringent antibacterials will cure your acne, because acne is an internal disorder caused by chronic inflammation and keratosis/improper skin cell shedding (usually caused by a Vitamin A deficiency in combination with various other deficiencies such as Sulfur/Vit C and especially Zinc.)

**As someone who's struggled with acne his entire life the only two things that work effectively for treating acne are a HIGHLY anti-inflammatory low-carb/low-GL diet (or fasting, but you can't fast for the rest of your life) that's low in PUFAs (Even DHA from omega-3s) and eliminates the most common allergens (all dairy/wheat/soy/tree nuts.)

The other alternative is a NON-SYNTHETIC topical retinoid. Acne is a disorder of the body that is clear proof that the body is in a state of inflammation. Natural retinol encourages collagen production and proper skin cell shedding (so the pore can't be blocked as the cells rise to the surface of the skin.) Unfortunately, I believe that taking Vit A internally (such as in liver) may not do nearly as much as topical application of retinoids. Many people, especially those who eliminate toxins through their skin (such as those with acne/eczema/dermatitis/etc.) probably have trouble absorbing nutrients and the nutrients they may be absorbing are probably going to more "vital" and necessary uses in the body. P. Acnes which is the "acne bacteria" plays very little role in the formation of acne. Although Mino is evil, it actually has some anti-inflammatory effects which, on top of the antibacterial effects, reduce skin lesions.

I took mino once and lost 10 pounds in the first week (it made me vomit and diarrhea a lot. a LOT.) then I threw that shit away.

Be sure to get plenty of sunlight too and sleep in total darkness (no night lights or computer lights on.)

1
59e818af2184847f09c8a63a45adcdbb

on January 31, 2012
at 01:21 PM

I started taking CLO with natural vitamin A 2 weeks ago, i swear my acnes improved. Previously i took straight fish oil. Ive also tried retinyl palmitate previously without much positive effect. Ive tried alot of things for acne generally. That said you seem to be eating liver, so i assume youre getting enough A. Anyone had their vitamin A status measured?

0
Ffd72922a42e5f5c663d9a189229299f

on May 02, 2012
at 12:03 PM

If we say acne is due to gut issues, wouldnt the best diet be GAPS to get rid of acne? Any ezperiences?

0
Cca5e189095517bd5592fc459255a473

(10)

on April 27, 2012
at 03:30 PM

Not to hijack, but I submitted a question regarding high LDLs and noticed this thread - I've been on Mino for almost a decade and my LDLs are over 270. Could this be the cause?? Otherwise I'm in excellent shape and my doctor said nothing about the medication perhaps contributing.

0
Ffd72922a42e5f5c663d9a189229299f

on April 26, 2012
at 12:23 PM

Bump!

Antibiotics once got rid of all My acne, after the treatment it came back with full strenght.

Should I go for gaps or art ayers recommendation on anti inflammatory diet?

My acne just do not want to go away

535fafe8afe6923870905c707c4f4454

(720)

on April 26, 2012
at 01:26 PM

I still don't have the answer!! Just recently found the most interesting study related to acne I've read: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2835893/

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