Antibiotic Resistant ‘Super Acne’ Could Become A Thing, Say Doctors

Not ideal. Really, really not ideal.

Antibiotic Resistant 'Super Acne' Could Become A Thing, Say Doctors

by Chemmie Squier |
Published on

Dealing with acne can be incredibly difficult: it affects your confidence, self-esteem and can eat into every day life for sufferers.

There is of course a wide range of help out there if you are having issues with your skin (be sure to see your GP for assistance), once of which is antibiotics.

But there's a bit of a problem. According to a new study released at the British Association of Dermatologists Annual conference which analysed 928 patients, on average patients were on antibiotics for six and a half months before being referred to a dermatologist, *BBC Newsbeat *reports. The longest instance of antibiotic use was a staggering 84 months; the equivalent of 2520 days which is just under seven years.

This, doctors warn, could lead to the development of ‘super acne’ which would be resistant to antibiotics.

Far from ideal.

'It could cause the emergence of antibiotic-resistant Propionibacterium acnes - the bacterium implicated in acne - making acne harder to treat in some cases,' researcher Dr Alison Layton, explained. 'Worryingly, the use of oral antibiotics is also likely to drive resistance in other bacteria, unrelated to acne.'

Speaking at the conference, Dr Heather Whitehouse said that ‘Antibiotics remain an important part of acne management but given concerns about antibiotic resistance we should be using antibiotics judiciously as part of a treatment regime - limited to the shortest possible time period.’

Guidelines by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence state that a GP should prescribe antibiotics for up to three months before referring a patient to a skin specialist, unless there is a noted improvement, in which case it should continue for four to six months in conjunction with the use of skin creams.

According to the Daily Express, Matthew Gass, from the British Association of Dermatologists, said that '... it's important for doctors to reflect on how they prescribe for such a common condition which relies so heavily on antibiotic usage. This study provides an important warning and will hopefully help healthcare professionals and patients alike.'

So whilst you don't have to worry about super acne quite yet, it's definitely important in highlighting the dangers to medical professionals and adds to the growing body of research surrounding general drug resistance.

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Follow Chemmie on Twitter @chemsquier

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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