When Are Antibiotics Necessary to Treat Acne?

What You Need to Know About Antibiotics and Acne

There used to be a time when dermatologists would automatically prescribe antibiotics to any patients who came in for acne. Fortunately, times have changed. The medical community is trying to shy away from prescribing antibiotics like candy -- mostly because of the antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria that have resulted from their overuse. But does that mean no one with acne needs antibiotic medication? The answer might surprise you.

Sometimes It's Necessary

There is little question that individuals who have severe acne may indeed need to be treated with antibiotics. When is “severe” severe enough though?

Most individuals with acne feel that they’re acne is disfiguring even if they have just a few barely noticeable pimples. And those with just one or two cystic acne nodules might think it's painful enough to warrant an antibiotic. The experts might not agree. Who's right?

How Severe Is It?

Nodular and cystic acne are considered to be the most severe types of acne. In those cases, dermatologists will prescribe antibiotics -- especially if the blemishes are at risk of becoming seriously infected. If you've only got surface acne, chances are an antibiotic isn't in your future.

A Beneficial Alternative

If you were thinking antibiotics were an easy way out of your acne condition, you'll be happy to know that there are acne-fighting methods that are even more effective and you don't need a prescription for them.

If you’re not satisfied with using topical acne treatment products you might want to consider probiotics, which are over-the-counter supplements that contain beneficial bacteria. Probiotics can have a beneficial effect on the skin, and they don’t require a doctor’s prescription.

You could also try getting to the bottom of what's causing your acne. After all, treating the symptom without treating the cause is never a winning situation. There may be an underlying reason for your acne condition. Get to the bottom of that and you might be able to get rid of your acne once and for all.

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