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AIBU?

AIBU about antibiotics and the pill

36 replies

FlowerSour · 10/07/2017 11:53

Hi. Sorry, this is my second AIBU today but I have a day off work and I am starting to get restless, so thought I'd get some people's opinions on my latest disagreement with DP.

My DD is fifteen and she has terrible acne. I think she is beautiful no matter what, but her acne is causing her severe self confidence issues. She used to love swimming but won't go anymore and wears foundation from 8 AM until she goes to bed. She doesn't even like being makeup free in the house.

I took her to the doctors this morning as her acne has gotten worse the past two weeks. It's bad enough now that the doctor has prescribed the pill and antibiotics to treat her acne.

We got home and DD told DP that she is now on the pill and antibiotics. Note, she told him herself willingly and felt comfortable telling him. She is close to her father.

However, DP has said to me- once DD had left the room- that he is not happy about the antibiotics. He said that she shouldn't be on them for acne and is concerned about side effects, long term use (at least six months!) and being eventually immune to them.

I think that she's 15, knows the side effects and can make her own decisions.

Who is BU here? DP for wanting his 15 year old daughter off medication that could help her a lot, or me?

DP thinks her acne is just part of being a teenager and that it's not worth medication with side effects. It's also worth noting that he has never had acne!

OP posts:
scaevola · 10/07/2017 11:55

Which antibiotic?

NC4now · 10/07/2017 11:56

I'd trust the GP. If they are happy to prescribe and DD is happy to take them, all' good in my book.
Just make sure she knows that if she does end up using the pill for contraception, the anti-biotics affect the way it works, so she'll need to double up with condoms. Hopefully she'd do that anyway.

drspouse · 10/07/2017 11:58

People don't get immune to antibiotics - bugs get immune to them. I'm not sure where this idea came from that people get immune to them?

(Presumably the GP has taken into account antibiotic resistance in the microbial population and is prescribing within guidelines).

Is he happy for her to wear makeup all the time? And give up swimming?

stayathomegardener · 10/07/2017 11:59

Why not try just the pill for six weeks and add the antibiotics if necessary.
If you start both together you will never know which was effective.

Brittbugs80 · 10/07/2017 12:01

I was on anti biotics for my acne when younger to try and kill the infection. My Dr then put me on the pill which I had bigger issues with. I was then prescribed a gel which I had to apply twice a day.

As I got older, I was diagnosed with Acne Rosacea. Obviously I still have this and I'm late thirties now.

Which anti biotics is she on? There's one brand that people actively avoid as it can cause hallucinations and be addictive.

If you don't mind me offering advice, skincare is always a good place to start too, especially if she is wearing make up. I found Dermalogica ultra calming range to help my skin. I also try to stay make up free as often as I can.

Isadora2007 · 10/07/2017 12:02

Yeah I agree with not starting two things at once as how do you know which was effective?

superfluffyanimal · 10/07/2017 12:04

I had acne most of my adult life, it affected my self confidence. I did the anti biotic thing, for about 6 months, it really helped, the after taste was nasty but no other side effects, I haven't had any issues with other anti biotics since (this is a specific family of drugs not likely to get prescribed for other infections).

Honestly the biggest thing that helped me was switching to a mineral based powder foundation, using soap not cleanser or wipes on face followed by a very light moisteriser. Avoid perfumed products. If I went back to a liquid foundation now I would have spots in days.

The pill didn't help me.

Your DD is 15, in your shoes I would let her try the meds but I would also take her to a department store and speak to someone like Bare Minerals or other company for a nice light powder foundation, they show you how to apply it, the coverage is great and they have offers on it on Feel Unique and other websites.

Could it be that your DP is horrified about the Pill? its a sign that your DD is growing up? If your doctor prescribed this then it must be fairly bad, it took me years of visits to get the anti biotic.

user1471531877 · 10/07/2017 12:04

You can use the pill for contraception with antibiotics now.
There is a protocol to follow for acne so as long as this has been followed that is fine.
Personally if the acne is very inflamed using acnecide or differin alongside the antibiotic may help reduce resistance ( these are also topical first line treatments )
I think adding the pill as well can be delayed for a few months as this is a third line treatment if response is poor and carries its own risks
My own daughter had great results with 3 months of tetracycline and acnecide ( you have to build this up and use it religiously)
Cetaphil face wash and moisturiser is very gentle
Her acne was brought on by a comedogenic thick BB cream to start with so make sure she uses non comedogenic stuff on her face.
Good luck no teenager needs to put up with acne their self esteem is very important.

user1493413286 · 10/07/2017 12:04

It all depends on your daughter and how the acne is effecting her. I had awful acne as a teenager which really effected my self esteem so I had medication which improved it. If my parents had tried to stop me having the medication which the gp felt was safe it would have had a bad effect on my self esteem.

user1471531877 · 10/07/2017 12:07

Ps too faced foundation seems great ( from debenhams or on line )
She had another outbreak with sun cream but acnecide sorted it out and she now uses it every other day to keep acne at bay ( see acnecide website for use/ explanation)

Sidge · 10/07/2017 12:13

I am guessing she's been prescribed a low dose of a tetracycline; these are safe to use and tend to be very effective. You can't become immune to antibiotics in that way, if using inappropriately you can get bacterial resistance but that is unlikely to be the case here.

Tetracyclines however can potentially reduce the absorption of oestrogens so I would suggest she start the antibiotics first, take it for 3-4 weeks and then start her pill if she also needs contraception. If not needing contraception then she can take both together.

I'm guessing that her acne is pretty bad if the GP has prescribed the contraceptive pill as well as antibiotics; hopefully she will get a great rapid result from the antibiotics, and then the COCP will continue to keep her skin clear.

endofthelinefinally · 10/07/2017 12:20

I think the GP is entirely reasonable and must think the acne is severe enough to treat.

Don't underestimate the psychological effects on your DD.

FlowerSour · 10/07/2017 12:21

I am very open to all advice and will have a look at all of your suggestions for her. Thank you. Smile

Her acne is very bad- it's starting to get cystic now. DD herself decided to start both at once, she's at the end of her tether and just wants it sorted.

She's not using the pill for contraception. As far as I would know anyway, but we are close and she generally tells me a lot. I have had a chat with her about antibiotics and contraceptive use at the same time and she is aware of 'safe sex.' I don't want her to be sexually active but I'm aware she is getting older. DP does hate talking about such things, so I guess it could also be the contraception he has an issue with?

I understand she is his "little girl" but she is almost 16 and starting to make her own decisions. I give her guidance as much as possible, but I believe she is of an age where she can make her own decisions regarding her medical treatment for her acne. Her doctor is lovely and would have advised her fully, obviously.

It's tetracycline, as people have said.

Again, if anyone has any other suggestions, I'd be happy to hear them. Anything to help my daughter is appreciated!

OP posts:
toastandbutterandjam · 10/07/2017 12:24

I really sympathise with your daughter. I got terrible acne around my jawline/chin when I turned 20 and I hated even leaving the house because I felt it was so bad.

I got antibiotics and a cream, but neither worked, so the GP added in the pill. My acne did go and I came off the antibiotics. I use a specific face wash etc and still take the pill. Each time I try and come off the pill, my acne comes back because it's hormonal.

When I had mine, I would have tried anything to get rid of it because my self esteem was so low. If your daughter is happy to take it, then she'll be under supervision of your GP (I'm guessing here - I was) and I doubt your GP would have prescribed her anything that would be harmful long term.

sweetbitter · 10/07/2017 12:32

Make sure she takes the pill properly: I was put on it (along with roaccutane) at her age for acne, but looking back I totally misunderstood the instructions about leaving a gap for your period in the middle, I was trying to count days from when my period came all wrongly and was taking/not taking pills all over the place. Luckily I wasn't having sex so not relying on it for contraception.

I am in my 30s now and still get spots, though nowhere near as bad as in my teens and early twenties. Things that seem to help me the most are:

  • washing my face with plain old soap, water and flannel twice a day. I swear this is the single biggest thing that has helped calm my spots right down. I've been doing this for years now.


  • when active acne isn't too bad, using an exfoliating facewash (like still Ives apricot scrub) as well


  • moisturising with regular moisturiser, not something specifically for oily skin. For years I didn't moisturise or just used a paint stripper like substance for oily skin, because it seemed to me that using moisturiser would add to the problem. In fact it helps balance my skin much better.


  • wash make up brushes regularly, and try changing foundations to see if that helps.


Good luck to her, and I think your DP needs to do some actual research if he has concerns about the antibiotics. Does he really think he knows better than the doctor?
drspouse · 10/07/2017 12:33

Don't take one but not the other hoping you will see which is working, without the GP saying so. Drugs interact in ways that you as a non-medical-professional (and I'm not one either) can't know about.

As an aside I'm on two drugs that interact and if I'd started taking one and then taken the other to see which one worked, I'd have been very ill on just one of them.

thethoughtfox · 10/07/2017 12:40

She can try Mac Nourishing Waterproof foundation for swimming. They will give her a tester to try.

ThatsNotAHat · 10/07/2017 12:51

Good luck to your daughter, I hope the medication helps. I've suffered with adult acne for about 15 years (had clear skin as a teen! Hmm) and it is terrible for self esteem.

I've recently discovered rose hip oil which I've found - not to be a miracle - but massively helpful. Fairly cheap for a big bottle on Amazon.

Brittbugs80 · 10/07/2017 12:51

Also, make up wipes and cotton wool both burn my skin, it's that sensitive and also irritate my acne. It might be worth avoiding those, as well as clay based products if she has dry/oily skin.

And an oil free moisturiser. Dermalogica is expensive. I pay £50 for the pump bottle but it lasts me about 8/9 months.

Brittbugs80 · 10/07/2017 12:52

I've recently discovered rose hip oil which I've found - not to be a miracle - but massively helpful. Fairly cheap for a big bottle on Amazon

I've heard it's meant to be amazing for skin. Which one do you use?

user1471531877 · 10/07/2017 13:08

If her acne is cystic she may need a referral to dermatologist for roaccutane it sounds pretty bad from your description which may be why the GP opted for antibiotics with the pill
It is treatable so follow the medication instructions carefully and ask for a referral if it is not improving - cystic acne can scar so if this is the case a referral may be in order

FlowerSour · 10/07/2017 13:20

I'll look into rose hip oil as well.

Currently she uses a Neutrogena cleanser, toner and an oil free moisturiser. The oil free moisturiser seems to be helping.

She exfoliates once or twice a week but avoids this if she has too many active spots.

Roaccutane is the next step. GP wants to try pill and antibiotics first as roaccutane is generally a last resort apparently and it has some side effects. She's also still quite young.

Hopefully the pill will work. Smile

OP posts:
user1494237944 · 10/07/2017 13:24

My DD 15 put on antibiotics for 6 months for her acne - helped tremendously. However, once stopped it got even worse - put on different antibiotics and no change. Eventually put on roaccutane and the difference was huge - only side effect for her was a drying of her scalp and dry lips. Been off roaccutane for 1 year and her skin is still good. Slight scarring which she is not concerned about. Good luck to your DD.

user1471531877 · 10/07/2017 13:35

I don't think acne cleansers work they strip the skin of oils
I highly recommend cetaphil as a gentle cleanser and moisturiser
Neutrogena caused an outbreak in my elder daughter

user1471531877 · 10/07/2017 13:37

Simple also does a light moisturiser lotion ( nb lotion not cream)

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