Antibiotics Vs Contraceptives



Clinical trials are exploring the use of oral contraceptives as a longterm treatment against acne and their conclusions have prompted some dermatologists to begin recommending them as a safer and less volatile alternative to the traditional six-month antibiotic schedule.

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Oral contraceptives, which contain synthetic estrogen and progestin, effectively suppress the body’s secretions of testosterone, a male hormone that stimulates oil production on the surface of the skin. A recent study published in the online edition of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, compared the results of an antibiotic schedule to oral contraceptives and found both improved the cases of acne by up to 50%. “Oral contraceptives take longer to work because they have a different mechanism of action,” says Dr Kelly H. Tyler, a dermatologist at Ohio State University in Columbus. “Antibiotics have anti-inflammatory properties, and OCPs do not have those same properties, so the reduction in acne is going to be more gradual and less dramatic in the beginning.”

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While some dermatologists have begun recommending oral contraceptives as an alternative to serious acne problems as a means of avoiding Isotretinoin, a drug linked with birth defects, it should be noted that contraceptive side effects include increased risk of breast cancer and liver tumors.

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