My Acne Journey: Antibiotic Treatment! (Part 2)

I ended last week sharing the start of my acne journey and how I first of all began with topical treatment. With my skin getting worse if anything, and puberty well and truly over, I made the decision at age 21 to move on to antibiotic treatment.

Having done research since, I have seen that some offer antibiotic treatment as a topical agent but I never got that offer. If I had, I probably would have gone for it because I was really opposed to taking be honest, any medication in general. I try to avoid it where possible but I told myself, if I still had acne by the age of 21 I wanted to start the process of roaccutane and this was the last resort before roaccutane so...

The combined oral contraceptive pill was also discussed but first of all, I can't have the combined pill because I have migraines and therefore it's contraindicated, but I also wasn't sexually active and therefore I didn't want to take something that may ultimately effect my fertility for acne.

So I started on a 3 month course of antibiotics, which got extended to 6 months, before trying a different antibiotic for another 3 months. The first antibiotic I was put on was Clindamycin and then the second was Doxycycline . I was actually put on the latter for another 3 months, but only ended up taking about a week of it, which I'll explain in a little bit.
I ended up having no effect from the antibiotic. I am very lucky in that I rarely get side effects, but I also rarely get effects. I didn't get diarrhoea or sicker than normal, which are two of the main concerns, but I also had no dry skin and it made no difference to my acne. Also, during this period, I continued on my Epiduo and Zineryt topical treatment.

These posts are in no way meant to be medical advice, this is just my experience. As with the topical creams, antibiotics again make your skin more sensitive to UV light, but the other concern is that it makes oral contraception less effective so it's advise to use other forms on top of this. I again, still wasn't sexually active so I wasn't on any contraception at the time. Also, I've seen mixed lengths of courses but I was advised results wouldn't be seen until 6 - 8 weeks and then most courses last between 4 - 6 months, so I was put on the longest for both.

After 3 months on my second antibiotic, I went back for my consultation and we discussed how I felt they weren't working and wanted to be referred to a specialist dermatologist to begin my roaccutane course. This had always been the plan and my GP was aware of this so he immediately agreed with no problems. I was put back on the antibiotics and given another 3 month course because of the delay and waiting list, however I was very lucky in that I was contacted less than a week later and referred to a private clinic, but charged through the NHS so for free. The private clinic was also right behind the NHS hospital so the two are very closely linked.

This was incredible and I was so lucky. Around a similar time, I had one of my friends going through a similar process but she was doing it privately as didn't want to have to wait through the NHS and then also, I later found out another friend went through the treatment course as well. She ended up paying hundreds of pounds, per consultation, per blood test and per prescription. Of course, I felt the £8.10 for the NHS prescription charge was a lot at the time, especially when I was paying it monthly, but in comparison, she spent thousands!

Come back for Part 3 next week, all about my roaccutane experience!