Use of Antibiotics to treat Acne

Acne is a very common skin condition that affects virtually all individuals at least once during their life. Acne normally peaks at 18 years, though there are significant numbers of adults, both men and women that are affected. A recent study shows that 12% of women and 3% of men have acne and are over 25. Acne is not a fatal disease it can have important psychosocial consequences, including diminished self-esteem, social withdrawal due to embarrassment, depression and unemployment. Adequate therapy is important, especially as satisfactory results from acne treatment can be achieved in  most cases significantly improving a patient’s quality of life.

Treatment should aim to improve the patient’s acne and, most importantly, prevent scarring – as this is difficult to treat once it has occurred. For mild to moderate acne, the mainstay of acne treatment within primary care is the combined use of an anti-inflammatory antibiotic together with benzoyl peroxide or a topical retinoid. Commonly used systemic antibiotics include tetracycline, oxytetracycline and erythromycin.

The appropriateness of any acne treatment depends on the site, type and severity of the disease. The goal of treatment of mild and moderate acne should be to maximise the effectiveness of the agents used while minimising the development of antimicrobial resistance. The associated benefits of improving self-esteem and reducing depression should be welcomed.

Tags :   Acne

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