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Antibiotics for acne?

(64 Posts)
Wuxiapian Mon 13-Mar-06 16:53:42

Hi, everyone.
I'm female and suddenly developed acne a year ago - never had spots before in my life!
GP prescribed different lotions and potions but without any improvement. I had my hormone levels tested and they were fine. GP said it could be stress, but nothing had changed when my skin started to erupt.
Anyway, now, a year later, he's prescribed me Minocycline to take daily for 2 months. I'm not keen on taking antibiotics, but my skin's really starting to get me down and I'm prepared to try anything.
Just wondered if anyone else has used this drug successfully and if there were any side effects whilst taking it.

Hoping for some advice.
Thanks in anticipation.

littlelamb Mon 13-Mar-06 19:27:03

Hi. No experience of this drug but my best friend was put on Roaccutaine (sp?) for acne, about a year ago. It's a pretty contraversial drug, and some of the side effects were awful, it literally peels your skin off so she was left looking very raw and her lips were constantly bleeding. Now, she thinks it was worth it, as the acne was really getting her down, but I'm not so sure. I suffered from terrible spots in my teens, but now have pretty good skin, I just seemed to 'grow out of it', whereas hers definately looks like it's peeled off, and is still very red iyswim. If you choose to go on this drug, they monitor you monthly, as it can do horrendous internal damage, and also make you sign a disclaimer saying if you get pregnant whilst on the drug you must abort or face the big possibility of a child with deformities I only know the extreme sides of this drug though, so if it really is getting you down, maybe its worth looking up x

expatinscotland Mon 13-Mar-06 19:40:45

Don't take them. Wait two months. Then go back and say they haven't worked.

I get thrush when I take antibiotics.

lacrimosa Mon 13-Mar-06 19:49:50

When I took them my GP made me sign a disclaimer that said If I fell pregnant while taking them it was my resposibility and I knew the risks and that if I wanted to try for a baby I would have to wait for at least 6 months after taking them! Look into it first! I did however take them and my skin is A LOT BETTER!!!! really better[good luck xx]

gingernut Mon 13-Mar-06 19:51:28

I took oxytetracycline for spots (not acne though, just really bad spots) in my teens. They didn't help at all. I don't remember any side effects however (but no consolation considering they didn't work). These days I would certainly be very wary of taking antibiotics long-term now I know a bit more, e.g. their detrimental effect on gut flora. I do sympathise about how you're feeling though. Have you tried any dietary changes? Or hormonal contraceptive (this worked for me, but makes things worse for some people).

Roaccutaine as mentioned by littlelamb isn't an antibiotic BTW, totally different class of drug.

If you fill the prescription you should be given a leaflet listing the possible side effeccts BTW.

gingernut Mon 13-Mar-06 19:55:43

lachrimosa, that was on Roaccutane I presume?

bramblina Mon 13-Mar-06 19:57:03

Ditto little lamb re roaccitane (sp) my DH had years of teenage acne and only thing to finally help was this. Think he had everything else ever invented in the meantime. Lots of nose bleeds etc as it totally dries up his skin but he also says well worth it.

GDG Mon 13-Mar-06 19:57:22

I'm interested to hear what people say on this as I'm going back to GP on Weds about my 'acne' too. It started as a very, very small red patch on one cheek when I was pg with ds3. It never went away and has actually got worse. The redness covers well with make up but you can see the bumpiness of the skin and it's starting to make me feel a bit self conscious. I've got a small patch starting on the other cheek now and I'm really hoping it's not going to spread all over my face. The amount I've got no is about as much as I can cope with.

GP gave me an antibiotic solution to put on it a while ago but it did nothing.

I'm very wary about having long term, nasty, ABs so thinking I should just put up with it - it's not life threatening and it's not like I'm on the pull is it?!

GDG Mon 13-Mar-06 19:58:22

I'm thinking going back on teh pill might help but I'll be so annoyed as dh had his 'snip' last year so I could be done with those!!

Jodee Mon 13-Mar-06 20:06:35

I can't remember what ABs I took about a year ago, but they did absolutely nothing. Used antibiotic lotion too. I've had awful acne on my back since being preg in 1999, I've tried EVERYTHING and if it wasnt for trying for 2nd baby for 3 years (with 6 month break to try out the ABs) I would be straight on the Roaccutane.

GDG Mon 13-Mar-06 20:16:22

What about 'light therapy', i.e. sunbed?! I'm pretty sure when my dad had acne years ago he had a sunlamp for his face. And I know that psoriasis pts are 'prescribed' uv therapy. Hmmmm...don't really like sunbeds but if the doctor ordered it! The tan woudl be a nice by-product!

Jodee Mon 13-Mar-06 20:59:13

GDG, I spent ££s on a red/blue light box, didn't work for me, anyway!). Also spend ££s on disgusting chinese medicine that also didn't work.

Wuxiapian Tue 14-Mar-06 07:19:37

Hi again. Thanks for the replies.

Well, I've been taking the minocycline as prescribed for 3 weeks.
I have to go back to GP next tuesday for him to see how it's going.
I've been getting headaches so I'll mention this to him - can't say as there's any improvement in my skin, though. Guess I'll just have to persevere.

Just another quiery.
What's the best thing to use on my skin - in terms of moisteriser? My skin gets dry and there's so many products, I don't know where to start.

Thanks again.
Hope to hear from someone soon.

reddevil Tue 14-Mar-06 08:20:04

My daughter has found the site very useful.(Sorry but I can't do links!)

catrin Tue 14-Mar-06 09:47:59

DH (32) still suffers a bit from acne. Roaccutane not v helpful - horrid side effects as mentioned. He finds it helps when his skin is dry - he gets less spots. He uses soap on his face to dry his skin out a bit, plus v light moisturiser (nivea for men, don't know what girls is like). Skin looks and feels good now, though it does get worse when he is stressed/run down. He also gets acne on his body so cannot use deoderant.
Good luck with it all

GDG Wed 15-Mar-06 11:42:43

I've just been px oxytetracycline - will let you know if it does anything. Typically, when I went to the dr today it had calmed down and wasn't half as bad as it was at the weekend. I need to try and work out if something in particular triggers it to flare up.

Anyway, if this doesn't do anything he is referring me to a dermatologist.

It's not really that bad atm - I'm more concerned about it getting worse.

HAPPYFACE Wed 15-Mar-06 12:44:36

I went on two different anti-biotics when I was younger because of spots and found they both worked really well, although my skin remained greasy there was no redness or bumps!!
The first was ERYTHROMYCIN probably on for at least a year or two.
Then I had another break-out and was on OXYTETRACYCLINE for probably again a year or two!!
I don't remember any side effects and was completely happy not to worry about spots during the important years of growing-up between 17-22.
My hubby is still quite spotty at 33 and I always said to him I would recommend these antibiotics to our children if they get acne/bad spots because I know how important your looks are to you and "you'll grow out of it" doesn't mean anything when you've got a big red mountain pus on your face!!

Wuxiapian Wed 15-Mar-06 14:57:57

Yes, GDG, do keep me informed of how it's going with the Oxytetracycline.

Happyface, that's so true. It's hard to forget about the nastyness. I'm quite paranoid about it. It's getting ridiculous now - to the point where I'm avoiding going out and I know I shouldn't let it affect me that way. The GP probably thinks I'm over reacting.

Anyway, better go pop another pill then I guess.

Wuxiapian Thu 23-Mar-06 08:18:12

Hi guys.

Well, I went back to my GP yesterday. I've been taking Minocycline for 4 weeks and he wanted to see how it was going.
There's no improvement in my skin - in fact if anything, it's got worse. He referred me to a dermatologist but there's a 10 week wait!
So, I have to finish the prescribed course of antibiotics in the meantime and wait.

GDG, how's it going with the Oxytetracycline?

Monkeysmom Thu 23-Mar-06 10:45:30

I have used Doxycyline( Doxine ) for about 4-5 months and it realy worked. No side effects whatsoever. I have stoped it a few months before getting pregnant with DS . Now 2 years later, my skin is still clear.
However, I did not have a severe case of acne.Just lots of spots at 35. Hope this helps.

VeniVidiVickiQV Thu 23-Mar-06 11:06:08

I used the antibiotics for a couple of months. It did help but came back when i stopped them.

The best thing that has worked for me is a brand of skincare stuff called Pro Active. It can be quite drying to the skin and is expensive but it was 100% successful.

I havent got a link but if you google it you should find their website.

Brilliant brilliant stuff. Cant speak more highly of it.

newkid Thu 23-Mar-06 16:12:39

I had bad skin for most of my teenage years and I was put on loads of different antibiotics; to be honest, none of them did much. My skin started to get better but then at the age 19 I got the worst cystic acne - big horrible lumpy spots - two or three new ones a day. It was horrible and I was terribly depressed about it.

It took me ages to convince the dermatologist to give me Accutane (Roaccutane). It was sooo worth it. I wish I'd had it sooner as I have lots of scars now that I wouldn't otherwise have. The main side-effect is birth defects and they made me go on the pill as a condition of taking the drug (like anyone was going to go near me for sex! or at least that's how I felt my self-esteem was so low). I also had occasional blood tests - can't remember why - this was 17 (!!!) years ago. There are a lot of scare stories about Roaccutane, but I can only say that it worked really well for me. It didn't have the extreme drying out that other people have reported. However, if there is a chance that you could conceive, proceed with caution.

butty Thu 23-Mar-06 16:33:28


I dont have any experience myself, but my 15 year brother has suffered bad acne for the last 2 years.

The GP decided to put him on a 12 month course af antibiotices, of which he has to take 4 a day for first 6 months and then reduce them to two a day for the last 6. he was also given a prescription cream which he explained is identical to that FREEDERM thingy majig advertised on the telly.

I must admit after 4 months his skin is slowy but surely getting better.

The redness and greasy look that he always has improved dramatically, although it is still noticable, it is half the extent it was.

Good luck with it all.

GDG Thu 23-Mar-06 16:35:59

Been taking the oxytetracycline for about a week. I'd say no changes so far. Dh said it was working at first but my 'acne' does go in fits and starts - sometimes there are no spots, just redness which covers perfectly with foundation - it's the lumpiness that annoys me when the spots flare up.

Tbh, I don't think I can expect changes yet. Will keep you posted!

expatinscotland Thu 23-Mar-06 16:36:49

thing is, my skin isn't and never was greasy. i had major cystic acne caused by progestin only pill.

i don't believe in putting someone on antibiotics for very long b/c it can really mess up their gut.

i second proactiv!

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