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Acne Medicine - There Is No Magic Cure

Aug 18, 2007
You know what I hate about acne medicine? There is no instant cure. Acne is considered a chronic disease. But it can be an acute social emergency as well. Anyone who has suddenly had a huge pimple 3 days before the biggest party of the year can tell you that.

I remember getting really tired of faithfully applying my various over-the-counter topical acne medicines and seeing no results. I must have spent a small fortune on the different products and my face was no better. In fact,on some days,it was definitely worse. In desperation,I went to our loving family doctor for help.

"I need an acne medicine that can cure my acne. Quick." I said. She very kindly informed me that there is no such thing as a magic acne medicine. She did offer to prescribe me some antibiotics after peering at my face for a while. She felt the acne looked bad enough to warrant prescribed acne medicine. I thought that seemed like a good idea. Surely my problems would be over in 3 days? 5 days maximum? That was how long my sore throat lasted the last time she gave me a course of antibiotics.

My loving doctor had to correct me. It would take two months before I was going to see any change. My heart sank. What was I supposed to do in the meantime then? The party was in 3 days. Well apparently the best the good doctor could suggest was to continue to use the same topical acne medicines I was already using even though they obviously were not working. She felt perhaps a little make-up would correct the problem in the short-term. I resigned myself to taking the medicine,telling myself two months was actually quite short in the larger scheme of things.

Then I found out I had to take the acne medicine twice a day. Everyday. My grandmother only had to take her high blood pressure pills once a day! I figured she had to take it for a lifetime, so two months was not bad. My loving doctor had to correct me again. It took two months before the effects of the acne medicine would begin to show. After that, I was to continue to take the medicine for another six to twelve months. Some had to take it for longer.That seemed like practically a lifetime to me.

But there was more to come. She then proceeded to explain to me how this acne medicine I was to take twice a day for a whole year may cause side effects. All drugs, she said, can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Antibiotics seem to cause them more often than others. Sometimes the side effects disappear, she consoled. I was also at risk of developing a drug allergy to my acne medicine. If I was a child, the acne medicine could discolour my teeth. If I got pregnant, it could affect my unborn child. If I had some previously unknown kidney disease, this same acne medicine could further damage my vital organs. Oh, and I might get a yeast infection down where?

I don't know about you, but by then, I really did not think antibiotics were the acne medicine to solve my problems. I had a party in 3 days, a face that looked like a disaster, and the best treatment I was offered would take two months to start working, had to be taken for twelve months, and may even cause side effects.

The lesson? Antibiotics have been used successfully by doctors in the treatment of moderate to severe acne for years. They are relatively safe, though they may have side effects. Antibiotics often take as long as up to two months before any effect is seen, and have to been taken for up to six months to a year even after improvement of the acne, in order to prevent recurrence. Treatment failures often result because patients give up too early in the course of antibiotics.
About the Author
Karen Cheong has started a blog providing information on the treatment of acne. Also in her blog are some personal stories, and those of friends.
Visit http://www.acnemed.info to find out more.
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