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How Effective Is Antibiotic Acne Treatment?

By Erin J. Hill
Updated May 17, 2024
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The effectiveness of antibiotic acne treatment depends on the cause of acne and the type of bacteria causing breakouts. Those whose pimples are being caused by bacterial infection may find these treatments highly effective. Others may find them less so because infected pores may be caused by fungal infections or excess oils on the skin.

Several factors may play a role in how effective an antibiotic acne treatment is. If bacterial infection is the cause of symptoms, it is helpful to determine the type of bacteria causing the problem. Some bacteria response to certain antibiotics better than others. If a patient is given one that doesn't effectively kill the type of flora causing his or her infection, symptoms are likely to worsen or reoccur.

It should also be kept in mind that the skin, much like the digestive tract, also contains many forms of helpful or “good” bacteria. These flora help maintain proper skin balance and ward off harmful pathogens, like infectious bacteria or fungi. If the antibiotic acne treatment used kills off too many of these beneficial bacterial strains, an even worse skin infection can result because without good flora to ward off harmful ones, the skin becomes more vulnerable to pathogens.

In many cases, a natural antibiotic acne treatment is preferable to a chemical version. These are generally gentler and milder on the skin. Many of them also have skin-soothing properties to reduce inflammation and redness. Examples may include tea tree oil- or honey-based formulas.

If acne becomes severe or widespread, a dermatologist should be consulted to rule out other conditions and to discuss treatment options. Some severe skin infections or pimples may require a strong antibiotic cream, and ome large eruptions may have to be lanced and drained. These are not considered normal acne breakouts, but are a more serious infection of the pores or follicles.

When bacteria is to blame for symptoms and the proper type of antibiotic acne treatment is chosen, these remedies can be highly effective at banishing pimples. In order to choose the ideal antibiotic, patients should speak with their doctors for thorough testing and examination. Sometimes multiple treatments will be tried before the most effective one is discovered.

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