Many of us have acne that pops up now and then. Generally, most of us let nature takes its course in getting rid of it and hope for the best.
But for some, hoping isn’t enough. For an unfortunate group, acne is a force to be reckoned with that causes physical and emotional scarring that can be very difficult to overcome.
Take Lucy Arnold from the UK, for example. Arnold describes in an article on BBC.com how she suffered from tyrannical outbursts of acne that covered her face and body.
It was so bad that it made her turn into a partial recluse.
Desperate to clear her skin, Arnold, who always kept her body clean, tried dieting, eliminating dairy and wheat and other foods that might make a difference. She also applied a variety of topical creams, but nothing worked.
After three long years, Arnold finally grew tired of meeting people’s stares and answering the questions of her students who were curious to know what was “wrong” with her skin. She turned to professional help.
And doctors did find a solution. The trouble is, the antidote was antibiotics. And while it worked for Arnold– and for many with the same trouble-it may not for long.
Experts are now warning that by using antibiotics to clear up severe acne- the type that oozes puss from multiple sores and can cover the skin on the face, back and chest- could be setting the stage for the development of super acne.
Super acne is acne that is resistant to the antibiotics that work to treat it. If it develops widely, it can leave those who have to deal with it day-in, day-out up a creek without a paddle. It could eliminate one of the best solutions out there.
So, what’s being done about it?
Experts say that on average, patients are prescribed antibiotics to treat acne for about six and a half months before they are referred by their doctor to a dermatologist.
Skin specialists in Britain are now calling for general practitioners to recommend patients see a dermatologist after just three months, if they are taking antibiotics to clear acne and it hasn’t worked.
Specialists are also recommending that patients with milder acne try prescribed creams first, before resorting to antibiotics. Switching between antibiotics for treatment, is also advised in order to prevent developing an immunity to antibiotics.
acne under the microscope
Aside from developing super acne, the biggest worry doctors have is that the use of antibiotics to treat acne could possibly promote drug resistance in other bacteria found in our body, unrelated to acne.
Antibiotics have been around for the last seventy years, treating our infectious diseases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), since the 1940s, they have greatly reduced the rate of severe illness and death from infectious diseases, but scarily enough, there is a limit to their effectiveness.
Drug resistance is growing and each year in the U.S at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and around 23,000 people die as a result of untreatable infections.