Tip: Antibiotic Resistant Acne

Antibiotics for acne have worked well in the past. But if you develop antibiotic-resistant acne, you can also use benzoyl peroxide to clear up acne.

Sometimes acne does not respond to over-the-counter creams and cleansers. You may need a stronger medication. This is when we turn to prescription antibiotics for acne. Antibiotics for acne have worked well in the past. However, the bacteria that cause acne and are killed by the antibiotics have mutated, forming new strains and developing a resistance to those antibiotics. When this happens, the antibiotics for acne no longer work effectively to clear up pimples and blemishes. This can be frustrating during acne breakouts. 

So what can you do if you develop antibiotic resistant acne? For starters, if you are already on a prescription antibiotic for acne, talk to your dermatologist about also using benzoyl peroxide. When used in combination with antibiotics for acne, benzoyl peroxide treatments can reduce the risk of developing the new, resistant forms of bacteria. That means the treatment should work better to clear up acne breakouts. 

Benzoyl peroxide comes in different strengths, and may cause side effects such as irritation. But for people with antibiotic resistant acne or hard to treat breakouts, benzoyl peroxide is an option worth exploring with your doctor. 

Bobby Buka, MD

This video features Bobby Buka, MD. Dr. Buka is a section chief at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Dr. Buka is also a diplomate of the American Board of Dermatology and the Society for Pediatric Dermatology.

Duration: 0:30. Last Updated On: Nov. 8, 2017, 6:14 p.m.
Reviewed by: Suzanne Friedman, MD . Review date: Nov. 15, 2016
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