For years I went to the doctor as I was desperate to clear my acne. Everytime I was asked about my diet, my skincare routine and prescribed antibiotcs for acne. These helped my skin for a month or so but never permanently got rid of the problem. I decided to look in to the pros and cons of taking antibiotics for acne and was amazed at what some of the side effects are!
The 5 most commonly prescribed antibiotics for acne and their side effects are:
This has been used to cure acne for 30 years. Tetracycline works in two different ways. It acts as an anti-inflammatory and it reduces the bacteria in the follicles and on the surfaces on the skin. The problem is, it also reduces the ‘friendly bacteria’ that your skin actually needs to be able to absorb nutrition. Common side effects from tetracycline are yeast infections, upset tummy (vomiting and diarrhea), and increased sensitivity to light.
Unlike tetracycline, erythromycin can be eaten with food, which is useful for teenagers who eat regularly. It helps to reduce acne by reducing the proteins that allow bacteria to survive in your body. Some of the side effects of erythromycin can be quite worrying. Uneven heart beats, chest pains and dizziness are just some of them!
Minocycline is usually used for severe cases of acne. Again this reduces the swelling and redness of the acne. There are two main side effects of this antibiotic. Hypersensitivity and lupus/hepatitis which can cause severe joint pains and pseudotumor cerebri which is an accumulation of fluid around the brain causing sever headaches and vision problems.
Doxycycline can be prescribed to patients who do not respond to more popular antibiotics such as tetracycline and erythromycin. Again, this antibiotic for acne works by affecting the growth of bacteria that causes the acne. Common side effects from doxycycline are severe diarrhea, sever stomach cramps and fever.
Clindamycin is a topical antibiotic for acne that works by reducing free fatty acids on the skin which reduces the inflammatory activity in the hair follicles. Common clindamycin side effects are redness, blistering and peeling of the skin, swelling of the lips face and tongue and it can also make you feel unusually week or tired.
It is also important to remember that all antibiotics can cause vaginal yeast infections for women and all oral antibiotics can reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills.
If you don’t want to risk these nasty side effects, it’s best to seek a natural cure for your acne.