Nov 06, 2015 1:00 AM

Author: Elizabeth Renda


Having acne means wearing your insecurities out in the open for everyone to see. Whether you are a teenager trying to make it through adolescence or an adult still struggling with skin problems, you might not be receiving the right remedy for your acne, a new study shows. 

Published in The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology the study found that acne sufferers were often put on antibiotics for an average of 11 months before the course of treatment was reevaluated and ruled ineffective. This long-term use of antibiotics until the treatment is reassessed plays into the growing issue of the overuse of antibiotics.

“Waiting nearly a year for forward progress means there is something wrong with the treatment plan that needs to be adjusted,” said Jennie Clarke, MD, a dermatologist with University of Utah Health. “Being on antibiotics for such a long period of time is not ideal and could affect the success of the medication in the future.”

Antibiotics are often used to delay the use of retinoid isotretinoin (Accutane), an acne medication that has gained a bad reputation for its supposed drastic side effects.

Retinoid isotretinoin is the most effective acne treatment, Clarke explained. However, this does not necessarily mean more people should use it as their first treatment option. Rather, retinoid isotretinoin should be considered as an option before allowing alternative treatments to go on too long.

“There is no reason someone with acne should continue to suffer. Even if past treatments have failed, there is a way to find the right solution for you. We’ve had plenty of patients that had chronic acne for most of their lives and we’ve been able to help them finally overcome the problem,” Clarke said.

“Keeping your options open when it comes to treatment can make all the difference. It can help your doctor work through your choices and maintain a strong doctor-patient relationship. You can work together to find the best way to manage your acne.” 


Elizabeth Renda

Elizabeth Renda is the Communications Specialist for the Department of Dermatology. Follow her on Twitter @UofUDermatology.

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