Today is the day. You’ve decided. Acne you will not defeat me. Acne I do not give you permission to make me cry. Acne you WILL be gone.
You’ve stared in the mirror one too many times with puddles of liquid pooling at your eyes.
Why is this happening to me?
Why does everyone I know have perfect skin but me?
Help. Just HELP. Please help me.
And so you take to Google to find out what kills acne?
You’re ready to become a power ranger. A ninja warrior. Even a meditating, vow of silence taking yogi if it means you can finally be free of acne.
You’re willing to do anything. Try anything.
And then Google spurts out antibiotics for acne.
Wow – what really? I can take a pill of amoxicillin or ampicillin or erythromycin and my acne can be gone?
Is this for real? Do antibiotics help acne? Can antibiotics help acne? Is this the holy grail acne cure I’ve been searching for years for?
My friend – let me state one must know fact before we go further.
You are THE most amazing person. I know this because you are here right now with acne, being you with acne, doing life with acne.
And this takes guts, determination, resilience, braves, grace and more.
You are amazing for this. Please take a moment to realise this.
Do it right now. Give yourself credit.
…and an actual in real-life hug. You are amazing.
Now I know you may feel crazy desperate to find something to get rid of your acne.
Trust me when I say antibiotics are not going to be the one for you. You’re going to find out why very soon – plus learn all about the not so well known ‘acne cure’ which won’t work overnight – but has hyper potential to work for you long term. The best kind of change. This is change which lasts.
Are you ready to find out the crack? Let’s get going my beautiful friend…
Can Antibiotics Help Acne?
The irony is this. Yes. Truthfully. Antibiotics can definitely help (some people’s) acne to go away.
And you still shouldn’t take them. More about this soon.
First up, why do antibiotics help acne?
What’s their superpower?
Most people think antibiotics can help clear up acne because they kill acne bacteria.
Have you heard about acne bacteria?
Your skin has bazillions of bacteria living on it right now. Good and bad and some which even sit on the fence deciding which way to turn next.
Healthy skin has huge parties of good bacteria. These parties of good bacteria keep the bad bacteria locked away. They can’t even attempt to bring the mood down because there’s just too much happiness to be had.
Skin which is acting out, maybe like yours is right now – well it has an unhealthy bacteria balance.
Don’t worry we can help change this (!)
And one of the bacteria which grows wildly in acne-prone skin is the acne bacteria – what us scientists used to call propionibacterium acnes and now call cutibacterium acnes.
It’s been married off to a new and different family 😉
Most people believe antibiotics can help kill off acne because they help kill off acne bacteria.
Which yes – they absolutely definitely can… when used at mega-high doses. However this is not their #1 mode of action.
They have other plans in the mix.
Plans which include taking down the pain and redness of your acne.
Because the #1 way antibiotics for acne really work is by being anti-inflammatory drugs.
Did you know this?
Antibiotics can also have super effective anti-inflammatory benefits.
And acne itself is defined as a chronic inflammatory skin condition. Chronic just means has been going on for a long ass time.
In This Case Strong Acne Medication Could Give Worse Results
A study which went live in 2015 shows us that a lower dose of an antibiotic known as doxycycline can be just as effective vs. higher doses of the same antibiotic for acne.
Psst; this study tested 40mg doxycycline vs. 100 mg doxycycline for the treatment of moderate to severe inflammatory acne.
And guess what comes with a lower dose of antibiotic? Fewer side effects. Yes to that.
How Long Does It Take for Antibiotics to Clear Up Acne?
Here’s the deal – take antibiotics for acne and if they’re going to work for you. You’ll be seeing positive change in 6 to 8 weeks time.
Now you’re about to read a very shocking fact.
And this can be at an extremely high dose.
Which can mean;
- Upset stomachs
- Side effects like sensitivity to the sun, discoloured teeth, nausea and loss of appetite (this could even include chocolate!)
- Antibiotic resistance – you can end up making your own acne resistance to antibiotics or your acne might already be resistant because too many people are using these antibiotics for acne
- Killing off of good bacteria in your body psst – this is why diarrhoea is a common side effect of antibiotics for acne
- Antibiotics could even make your breakouts worse, I’ve had many SkinCoachee’s tell me they’ve tried antibiotics for acne in the past and that 1) they didn’t work 2) that they broke out worse or 3) simply that acne came back ridiculously quickly after stopping them.
And there is real antibiotics fear here. Because if you take antibiotics for your acne and it works. Amazing you now have clear skin. Now, what do you do? Stop taking them and just wait for your acne to come back?
Because here’s the kicker – antibiotics for most people – work only when you take them. Stop taking them and those anti-inflammatory benefits get washed down the skin. And this time they’re not taking your acne with them.
Which is why antibiotics for acne before and after shots can be epically misleading. The question you want to be asking is what does this person’s skin look like once they stop taking antibiotics… after 3 months and 6 months and 9 months?
Do Antibiotics Help Acne?
My friend I know you might now be feeling completely and utterly lost.
So what do I do to get rid of my horrible, embarrassing acne?
How can I get clear skin? I just want something which works. Give me it now.
Do not worry there is hope. And there’s a lot of it.
This hope is the kind which can help heal your acne long term – and you don’t need to take a pill (with risk of side effects) to get here.
Imagine right now you have a stone in your running shoe. Ouchy.
It’s rough and pointy and is spiking your foot right in the middle of your arch, where it hurts most.
Every step you take. Spike, spike, spike.
There’s just one thing holding you back from running a sub 2 hour 17 minute marathon 😉
Spike, spike, spike.
And so you go to your doctors for help.
Help me, please, my foot hurts so bad. It’s even starting to bleed.
The doctor says – I’ve got just the thing. It should work almost instantly.
The pain will be gone. You can run, run, run without a spike, spike, spike.
The doc hands you over a prescription for painkillers.
Gets to work in hours he says.
You’re so excited to be back on running form that you head straight to the pharmacy get them to fill your prescription and rush down the first pill without water. You just want a cure to this spike, spike, spike as quick as can be.
And it works. Omgosh it works.
There’s no pain. There’s still blood put there’s no pain.
You run, run, run and run some more.
And now the pains coming back.
How can this be? You’re still taking the painkillers.
You go back to the doc and he says – don’t worry – we’ll up your dose.
Yes – omgosh yes. The pain is gone again. I knew this could work.
Then the next few days come and your foot is gushing blood. You’re painting the floor a crust of red.
You can see something’s wrong.
You need help.
And so you sit down and take off that running shoe.
You find the world’s biggest, most pointy and spiking stone.
And a foot which you don’t even recognise. It’s mauled, mangled and torn to pieces.
Imagine if you’d taken that stone out before.
Imagine if instead of taking painkillers for the spiking pain you find the cause of your spiking pain and fix it. Cured it. Got rid of it.
Imagine if… instead of taking antibiotics for acne, instead of living in fear of what happens when you stop taking antibiotics for acne, you found the cause of your acne and fixed it, ‘cured it’, got rid of it.
Can you see the difference between these 2 situations?
Do antibiotics help acne?
Yes, they can. Short term.
However, they’re not treating the root cause of your acne.
They’re covering it up. Just like painkillers are covering up that spiking stone.
You have acne because 1 or more triggers have upset your skin biology.
The more upset your skin biology becomes – the worse your acne will get.
Bottom line; antibiotics are just covering up the root cause of your acne.
Psst – did you know diet is a trigger cause of inflammation for a heck load of people?
Yes, my friend – food causes your body to release hormones. Crazy eh.
Want to know which foods could be your key trigger?
Psst – they can even look healthy.
Just for you, I’ve prepped this awesome free list of acne diet yes, no and sometimes foods – it’s going to help make starting an effective acne diet simple. It’s also going to make identifying your key acne trigger foods a breeze. All you need to do is click here to grab your copy.
Now my friend, after you’ve downloaded your free cheatsheet, I want you to tell me, what 1 fact shocked you the most in this blog and why? Let me know in the comments below. And p.s. if you know someone in need of acne help right now – please, please be a superstar and use that green button below to share this blog on.
Cheryl Woodman is a scientist & award winning skincare formulator who’s more friend next door than bow tie wearing professor. As creator of Honesty For Your Skin her aim is to help you care for your skin in the best ways possible. She’s founder of the natural & fragrance free skincare brand Honesty while also hosting 1 to 1 skincare coaching to help you get your best skin yet. Find out more here.