Antibiotics Losing Their Power Against Acne – (06-14-01)

Antibiotics Losing Their Power Against Acne

Is this any big surprise? Forget acne–how about the long term damage to normal flora when a patient is put on long term broad spectrum antibiotics for a condition such as acne? In my office, if a patient presents to me with severe allergies, almost invariably there has been some long term antibiotic use during childhood–recurrent ear infections, recurrent pneumonia or acne. This repeated, long term use destroys the normal flora that performs such an essential function in the developing immune system. Acne can be addressed from a multifactorial approach quite successfully. This involves avoidance of common allergens (corn, wheat, dairy) and restoration of normal GI function.

Annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology Growing resistance of Propionibacterium acnes to antibiotics may mean that “the use of antibiotics to treat acne should be restricted and other regimens should be tested,” according to Dr. Carl Erik Nord of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. Dr. Nord presented study findings here at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology. His team analyzed resistance to commonly used antibiotics such as erythromycin and tetracycline in P. acnes cultures obtained from the skin of 99 patients with severe acne, all of whom had been treated with antibiotics for between 2 and 6 months. The researchers compared levels of resistance in those patients with levels in 30 patients with similar diagnoses who had never received antibiotic acne therapy. “What we found was significantly more resistant skin bacteria in the antibiotic-treated patients,” Dr. Nord told Reuters Health. Drug-resistant strains of P. acnes were recovered from 28% of patients who had undergone antibiotic therapy and 6% of those who had not.

James Bogash

For more than a decade, Dr. Bogash has stayed current with the medical literature as it relates to physiology, disease prevention and disease management. He uses his knowledge to educate patients, the community and cyberspace on the best way to avoid and / or manage chronic diseases using lifestyle and targeted supplementation.