I had acne as a teenager and used many topical treatments to help it. I had been on birth control for many years and now have been off for three months with a lot of acne for the past month. I saw a dermotologist about three weeks ago and have been on duac (a benzoyl and anitbiotic cream) and finacea (azaleic acid). He originally suggested oral antibiotics but I said no because I didn't want to feel sick (I tried erithromycn a long time ago and got really sick to my stomach). Also, I went off the pill to try and get pregnant so I didn't want to be on anything and I read some antibiotics weren't good if you were pregnant. So I know it's only been three weeks but I'm tired of waking up with new pimples everyday instead of less and I wonder if I should try an oral antibiotic. Any advice??
Hi. We would expect to see some clinical improvement from Duac gel (benzoyl peroxide and clindamycin) within 4-8 weeks and further improvement with continued use.
There are other groups of oral antibiotics which are helpful for acne, if Erythromycin makes you feel sick. But the most effective are tetracyclines which, as you know, can cause damage to the bones and teeth of an unborn baby.
Acne is caused by a sensitivity to the effect of androgens (a collective name for male hormones found in both male and female bodies). The answer for many female acne patients is therefore to take an anti-androgen (like Spironolactone) and/or the combined oral contraceptive pill as the oestrogen it contains blocks the effects of androgens. This is worth considering if your acne persists after your planned pregnancy.
Acne sometimes gets worse during the frist trimester of pregnancy but often improves during the second and third trimester. It commonly flares up after delivery of a baby but acne treatments can be restarted when you have finished breastfeeding or if you choose not to breastfeed.
Best Wishes, Eloise.
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