hello, i’m dr. neal schultz [pause] and welcome to dermtv. for most of us, when we look better we feelbetter. and when you have acne breakouts, you notonly donâ€™t look your best but it can have an important emotionalimpact as well. fortunately, as a result of both the topicaland internal medicines available today, for most people acne is easilycontrolled,
but many of the medicines require long termtreatment for months and even years. of the three types of internal medicines available, antibiotics are the most common drugs used,and many patients ask if taking antibiotics for acne, especiallyfor years or even just months, is safe. to answer this question, we need to discusstwo issues. firstâ€¦ is long term antibiotic use dangerousto my system? when taken as prescribed, since in the unitedstates,
oral antibiotics require a prescription froma physician, when taken as prescribed, long term use isgenerally safe. some antibiotics require occasional bloodtests to monitor that there are no adverse effects from thepills and in the rare events that there are, stoppingthe antibiotics usually allows those side effects to resolveby themselves. of course, as with any medication, anyonecan have an allergic reaction to any medication atany time, which also requires stopping that medicationand not using it againâ€¦
although a different antibiotic can then beused. the second issue is, â€œwill long term useof antibiotics weaken my system to serious infections ormake the antibiotic less helpful if i need it for other reasonsin the future?" again iâ€™m happy to say that no, it wonâ€™tweaken your system. while in theory long term use of any antibioticcan encourage certain germs to become resistant to thatantibiotic, the antibiotics used for acne usually areones not used for important life threatening infections
so the emergence of possible drug resistance is not a reason to avoid antibiotics if theyâ€™reuseful in controlling your acne. your take away message in my opinion is that when it comes to long term antibiotic usefor the control of acne, the upside far outweighs the down side. and again, when we look better we feel better.