For many years, antibiotics were used as a misguided treatment to the problem of acne, as acne does have a relation to bacteria – however, it was believed that this bacteria was the cause, and that acne itself was an infectious disease. Research and study show this not to be the case, and demonstrate that there’s no direct correlation to the quantity of ever-present P. acnes and of outbreaks of acne.
While there are cases where antibiotics are necessary, and while they do often work, the issue is that it can be likened to using a bulldozer to build a snowman. It’s an excessive, unnecessary response, especially with the dire implications of revelations made in recent decades about antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
It’s a serious issue, which many dermatologists are an unfortunate part of, as they’re five times as likely to prescribe oral antibiotics than their numbers would imply. Topical erythromycin provides an example of an antibiotic used to such a great extent that it simply does not work in the United States, anymore.
These issues can be negated to some extent by pairing the prescription with benzoyl peroxide, but patients dislike it as it stains fabrics. Oftentimes, this leads this important step to be disregarded and for the problem of antibiotic-resistant bacteria to be made worse, for the sake of keeping bedsheets unbleached. Looking forward, it’s important to encourage accountability and the spread of new information among American dermatologists to counter this trend among dermatologists and to preserve the efficacy of antibiotics.
Tim Ioannides is a Board of Dermatology member, certified by the same body, and has thus far spent his medical career serving the dermatological needs of the Treasure Coast of Florida. He operates his own dermatology practice, with multiple locations throughout the aforementioned Treasure Coast. See This Article for additional information.
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