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Acne, simply defined, is an infection of the skin which can affect an individual’s face, neck, back (and to some extent, even the arms). The most severe cases of acne are inflammatory and these are most often referred to as spots, zits or pimples. About 85% of teenagers have acne (from the mildest to the most severe forms). There are many medications and acne treatments that can be administered to acne patients; some are topical (such as acne creams and astringents) while some come in the form of capsules or tablets (the antibiotic forms).
WHAT RESEARCH FOUND?
There have been numerous past researches that have proven that antibiotics that are used in treating acne could also be the triggers for common illnesses. This was further reiterated by an experiment where volunteers subjected themselves to six weeks of antibiotic treatments for acne. After the said experiment, the volunteers who were subjected to this controlled condition were found to be more susceptible to URTI or upper respiratory tract infection (more than 200% more vulnerable to URTI). The cases of URTI were found to have developed within a year after the volunteers have been administered the acne antibiotics. It was also discovered that those who did not take the said antibiotics did not develop the respiratory tract illness.
The experts have explained that overuse of antibiotics (or even its misuse) could lead to bacteria (and other organisms) that have become resistant. This leads to the body being more prone to infectious diseases. These experts explained further that the ideal control group that should undergo experimental antibiotic treatment would be individuals with acne problems. This group should undergo long-term antibiotic therapy to finally see the effects of longer exposure.
THE UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA
The University of Pennsylvania (School of Medicine) has come up with their own experiment regarding acne. From 1982 up until the year 2002, experts from the University have identified participants from a United Kingdom database on the said experiment who were aged 15-35 years old.
This experiment answered the usual questions intended for acne patients such as how often they go to consult a physician; the common illnesses that they have developed while under treatment; and whether they have contracted URTI. The results have long since come out and the experts have observed and reported that during the first year of their experiment, 15.4% of the patients who were afflicted with acne had at least a single occurrence of URTI. Within that same year, those who have taken antibiotics were found to be 2.15% more vulnerable to URTI as compared to their counterparts who weren’t administered with antibiotics.
An antibiotic, in general, is the first line of defense against most infectious illnesses. Your head could be throbbing and your nose stuffy and you can’t think of anything but sleep all day so, normally, you might resort to antibiotic medication. Think twice before you ever do that again. Most cases of sore throat, flu and colds are not treated with the use of antibiotics. Antibiotics can be pretty powerful when used in treating serious or fatal infectious diseases. The lower forms of illnesses would just have to do with the usual pain reliever or paracetamol. Antibiotic-resistant germs have evolved because of people’s mentality that an antibiotic is the primary cure for most infections-even acne. The lesson is this - stay as far away from antibiotics unless absolutely necessary. You would never know when you would really need it.