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Antibiotics may be prescribed at higher doses than what is really needed to treat acne.While antibiotics can kill the bacteria associated with acne, it’s their anti-inflammatory effects, not their antimicrobial effects, that yield the biggest skin-clearing benefits.As anyone who’s ever experienced a tenacious breakout will agree, acne is very often tricky to treat, and many strong prescription treatments such as roaccutane, while mightily effective for some, involve serious side-effects or aren’t suitable for longer term use.Which is where an acne medication that you may not have heard of comes in.The result is that the bacteria associated with acne are becoming resistant to common antibiotics – and this overuse also contributes to more harmful bacteria, like Acne is a chronic inflammatory skin condition, characterized by blackheads and whiteheads (called comedones), pimples, and deeper lumps (cysts or nodules).They are caused when hair follicles are clogged with oil, bacteria and dead skins cells, and can occur on the face, neck, chest, back, shoulders and upper arms.Many people with acne will be prescribed antibiotics for treatment at some point.In fact, about five million prescriptions for oral antibiotics are written each year for the treatment of acne in the United States.
Dr Sam states that those with a strong family history of breast cancer may be advised not to take it, and if you’re looking to conceive, it’s not a good option as it can have a feminising effect on a male foetus.
In the UK, spironolactone can only be prescribed by a dermatologist, generally after acne has failed to clear up after topical treatment and a course of antibiotics.
Dr Sam might prescribe spironolactone if a patient’s skincare and makeup regime has been tailored to treat acne and a three to six month course of ‘stabiliser’ oral antibiotics has shown little to no improvement in acne symptoms.
Otherwise, there are no major side-effects, although some women experience period irregularities and breast tenderness.
If you don’t fit into these groups and have tried everything under the sun to keep deep-seated spots at bay, spironolactone could be ‘the one’- make an appointment with your GP or dermatologist to assess whether it’s right for you.