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Nov 02, 2015 07:41 AM EST

Ineffective treatment to cure acne leads to antibiotic resistance

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A study conducted at NTU Langone Medical Center suggests that patients with severe acne are often prescribed ineffective antibiotics to treat the condition, Immortal reports. 

As a result, the cycle of overuse of antibiotics among patients makes the bacteria increasingly resistant to the antibiotic treatments.

For the study, the researchers looked at the medical histories of 137 patients over 12 years of age and treated at NYU Langone for severe cases of acne between the years of 2005 and 2014.

The study senior investigator, Dr. Seth Orlow, said,

"Our study suggests that physicians need to recognize within weeks, not months, when patients are failing to respond to antibiotic therapy in cases of severe acne".

He said physicians need to make haste in identifying cases in which patients are not improving with antibiotic therapy so that the patient is not subjected to an overuse of antibiotics and develops a microbial drug resistance.

The study findings were published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology according to Eurekalert.

Dr. Nagler explains that acne is the most common reason young patients visit a dermatologist and that isotretinoin is the most effective drug for severe acne treatment.

"Acne remains the number one reason for young people to visit a dermatologist, and there are no other medications as effective as isotretinoin for treating severe cases of the skin condition.We need to find a better balance between trying antibiotics that may work and getting isotretinoin quickly to patients for whom antibiotics are not working.

Physicians also need to start talking to their acne patients earlier about possible isotretinoin therapy, so when and if they do need to switch to it, patients are more receptive to the drug and any concerns about side effects have already begun to be addressed."

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