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Acne- antibiotics long term use?

(28 Posts)
sleepysox Tue 27-Sep-11 17:24:12

I have bad skin and after reading quite a bit on here, I took the plunge and spoke to my GP. He gave me Erythromicin in a lotion to put on the spots, which helped lots, but I still have about 6 bad spots on my face.

I went back to the docs, as he told me to come back in 6 weeks to see how it was working, and he prescribed me Oxytetracycline tablets. (Antibiotics).

When I asked if I would have to be permanently on them, if they work, he said yes.

Is this right? I just read on another thread in S&B that someone had regular courses of them, with gaps in between, but didn't have to take them forever.

Can someone advise?

PS I know this is not striclty S+B but I think I'll have more sucess here than in Health.

simonthedog Tue 27-Sep-11 17:29:12

I took oxytetracycline for about 4 years when i was a teenager and that was okay, but haven't needed them since so don't know what happens as an adult. Hope they work for you.

gettingolderbytheday Tue 27-Sep-11 17:42:51

My daughter took Erythromicin for 6 months and it did work but as soon as she stopped taking it the spots came back. She is now on Dianette (a version of the pill) and her skin is great. The doctor thinks she will be best staying on this for as long as she can. Her skin was really bad though.

TinyDiamond Tue 27-Sep-11 18:07:31

Just be careful with long term use of dianette as it can be very bad for the liver. I ended up with some liver damage after being on it for 6 years from age 15-21. There is alot online available to read

ameliagrey Tue 27-Sep-11 18:36:43

IDianette* also has a high risk of blood clots. I thought it was not recommended for long term use- in fact it is only recommended now for acne, not as contraception.

OP your body will get used to the ABs in time, so you may need to change. you also need to consider that all the side effects of AB such as thrush etc may affect you!

My DD was on ABs for some time but they didn't clear her skin totally so she took Roaccutane for 6 months.

DilysPrice Tue 27-Sep-11 18:42:55

I took Oxytetracycline for a few years in my teens and then came off it, which was fine, but a) I was a teenager, so I naturally grew out of my acne and b) I then had a constant stream of chest/ear/eye infections throughout my twenties.

Makiko Tue 27-Sep-11 18:45:55

Message withdrawn

whojimmyflip Tue 27-Sep-11 19:08:16

Did you know you can get roaccutane in topical form from your GP.

Just a thought - my DDs dermatologist mentioned that many GPs don't know about it.

This Is after many years of her having acne and antibiotics being effective till she became 'immune'.

MangoMonster Tue 27-Sep-11 19:10:22

Have you considered diannette or dalacin?

neuroticmumof3 Tue 27-Sep-11 19:22:22

I've been on them for about a year now but some spots are starting to come through again so I think maybe my dose needs to be increased. A couple of times I've forgotten to get my repeat prescription and when I've gone without them for a week or so the pustules (yuk) have come back with a vengeance. So I don't plan to stop taking them any time soon.

WuzzAndBuddy Tue 27-Sep-11 19:52:03

I've been prescribed Erythromycin before. My GP prescribed it when I was trying for a baby as it was safer.
It worked, but took longer to work than when I was on Acnamino, that was much better, I was able to take it for a couple of months and then have a few months break without a single spot. Whereas the Erythromycin I had to take continuously and it seemed to just prevent spots rather than help cure them, like the Acnamino did.

ameliagrey Tue 27-Sep-11 20:15:00

If the acne is band ask for a referral to a dermo.

Most GPs just go through the motions of guessing/trial and error.

My Dd tried everything but once she had seen the dermo, she used Roaccutane. It wasn't our first choice- she tried everything else first but was told her acne was hormonal and not a lot would help except Roaccutane.

silver73 Tue 27-Sep-11 20:22:11

My son had bad acne GP gave us washes and topical treatments then antibiotics. GP referred to a dermo and he was on Roaccutane for 4 months. No side effects except dry skin and now he has the most beautiful clear skin. I did have my reservations about Roaccutane but it changed his life as he was so upset about the acne.

kbaby Tue 27-Sep-11 20:31:05

I was on it for a year but it did nothing for my spots at all, I eventually went on roacutane(sp) that cleared up my face and back and was the only thing that worked. That was 15 yrs ago and I'm now starting to get some spots again. Although I think I'm not helping my sleeping in my make up and squeezing them[embarrassed]

sleepysox Tue 27-Sep-11 21:31:55

I was on Dianette for 6 years, but it didn't totally prevent my bad skin. I came off it when ttc, and since my second son was born my spots have got bad. Not bad enough to see a dermo though.

I am concerned about having a low immune system after a long period of being on Erythromycin.

I think I'll investigate Roaccutane as a topical application. Thanks whojimmyflip. I haven't started the Oxytetracycline yet, so might delay until I've done more research.

I'd prefer not to take tablets longterm, if there's a viable alternative.

Thanks for all your replies. Lots of food for thought ...

KellyKettle Tue 27-Sep-11 22:57:15

I developed terrible acne in my mid-twenties which I never managed to shift with anything I bought from Boots etc.

Some spots stayed under the skin but started to leave red marks or even little dents which was devastating for me.

My GP prescribed me antibiotics - topical and then oral but neither worked. Once I started planning my wedding I got panicked enough to try something else.

I went to a Sk:n clinic and they recommended glycolic acid peels. You had to buy a facewash and lotion set to use for a few weeks beforehand to desensitise your skin.

I bought the kit (Glytone Step Up) which was only available through the clinic and it completely transformed my skin to the extent that I did bother going back for the peels.

I used it right up to getting pg with DD 3.5 years ago and will go back to using it again once DC2 is born. My skin is fine now but the stuff was good on my fine lines too & I loved the compliments I used to get on my smooth skin.

It was about £80 for the 3 bottles I think, that was in 2006/7.


KellyKettle Tue 27-Sep-11 22:58:10

I didn't bother going back for the peels


lookingfoxy Wed 28-Sep-11 07:37:14

I have suffered from bad skin on and off and went to the docs who gave me a topical cream, it didn't really work that well, she said the only other option was antibiotics which I wasnt too keen on as they give me thrush.
I googled and found out about retin a cream which i've been using since May and must say it is brilliant if you follow the instructions properly, I don't think its really available here (I asked gp about it and got my head bitten off) so I do need to buy it online through what could be some dodgy chemist sites, but its worth it, oh and it works on your wrinkles as well wink

itchywitch Wed 28-Sep-11 07:59:16

I tried doxycycline (oral antibiotics) for awhile but didn't think much of it. Liked clindatech (topical antibiotics) but thought differin was best treatment by far (a cream, increases cell turnover or something).

I also take diane 35 (is that the same as dianette? I'm a bit shock about that).

Now days through I just use the pill + neturogena rapid clear wipes (I live in Aus, not sure if you can get them there). Great combo imo for keeping my skin clear, esp the annoying ones that pop up on my chest and shoulders occasionally.

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 28-Sep-11 11:29:38

Well I was on oxytetracyline and doxycycline for years, plus topical antibiotics and benzyl peroxide on and off, I found them too harsh topically and actually made it worse not better.

I had terrible skin 6 years ago (think huge cysts and pus running down your cheeks, I was very sad that night it was disgusting).

I was on dianatte for 6 years and it helped but it gave me migraines after 6 years which puts you at a higher risk of strokes so the gp took me off them. Nothing took it away altogether though, what made it worse was I didnt have any problems untill I was 18.

I have basically formulated my own treatment plan, I was offered roaccutane but didnt want it.

Nothing had such a dramatic effect as giving up alcohol. The big sore spots went in a few weeks, I lost 7lbs, and I was only having one bottle a week, a glass every few nights.

I only have one cup of tea in the morning now, I drink 2ltrs of fizzy water a day (asda smartprice!).

I try to eat low gi, if I have a high sugar food such as fruitcake I can expect spots again.

I use a 100% silk pillowcase off amazon, its very soothing to sleep on. Not rough or abrasive on your skin so it doesnt irritate any spots. We use white company sheets anyway which are smooth but cotton absorbs and dries out skin which silk doesnt.

I use liz earle skincare, cleanse, tone and moisturise but I only moisturise at night, if I use it in the day it makes my oily skin worse. The manuka honey mask is very good ime.

I use dermalogica multivitamin recovery mask weekly which is excellent for calming down any spots and helping the healing process, and skin heaven skin polish, which is a glycolic acid based liquid, I cant use conventional abrasive skin scrubs as they make me break out.

I take brewers yeast and sea kelp which are both meant to provide trace elements skin needs for anti aging and regeneration plus cod liver oil for vitamin A and E. I take zinc for healing.

I find sunlight irritates my skin so I wear clinique city block 25 every day, it has anti oxidents in it but I will be changing to factor 40 soon as I read it has higher levels of anti oxidants in it.

I think it is possible to treat skin holistically but its trial and error finding out what suits you. I get a couple of spots now when my periods due but nothing the rest of the month.

I really hope you find a soloution it can make you feel so down.

fannybanjo Wed 28-Sep-11 11:36:04

Have you ladies never tried Retin A? It is bloody fabulous. I use it and my skin is the best it has ever been PLUS it helps with fine lines etc. It is a long road with it as it takes a few months to see the difference but if you stick with it, well worth it.

flakemum Wed 28-Sep-11 19:40:43

I tried all the things offered by derm and GP was on doxycycline for 9mths but also got infections after coming off them which I am not normally prone to. All over counter and clinique ect tried for 3mths each. Nothing worked some made it worse! Still had acne on neck and chest not huge spots just lots little ones then tried BP all over area every night 2.5% and la Roche posay effeclar duo and wash and toner as well now have best skin ever still oily but done need to use BP anymore!

drcrab Wed 28-Sep-11 19:47:10

I had bad acne as a late teen and after years of antibiotics (from gp) I went to a dermatologist and got given roaccutane. Brilliant stuff. Retin a as cream was great too. My brother had the same and took the same.

Good luck.

lljkk Wed 28-Sep-11 20:00:41

Don't you have to be extra careful of sun exposure if using Retin-A or Ro-accutane?

What about causing gut flora to become imbalanced, supposed links between Thrush/Candida & lots of antibiotics? Are those problems only myths?

MangoMonster Wed 28-Sep-11 20:15:00

Retin A is not food for pregnant ladies... Just a heads up.

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