Today, I, as the founder of Face 5 and a certified acne specialist, wanted to talk about why you should avoid antibiotics for acne.

The dangers of the long-time use of antibiotics as a treatment for acne are well-documented… despite both topical and oral antibiotics oftentimes coming as the first recommendation from dermatologists.

So what are the differences between topical and oral antibiotics, and why is Face 5 adamant about why you should avoid antibiotics for acne? (Especially as a teenager!)

Read on:

Firstly, What are the Differences Between Topical and Oral Antibiotics?

The differences between topical and oral antibiotics are as follows:

Topical Antibiotics 

Prescribed for topical infections and acne with high levels of visible inflammation, the most commonly-prescribed topical antibiotics for acne are erythromycin and clindamycin, both of which are available in solutions, lotions, gels, and pads.

Side effects from topical antibiotics can include localized redness, inflammation, and desquamation (more commonly referred to as “peeling”). While most skin types tolerate topical antibiotics, effectiveness is widely varied and often yields little long-term results; in addition, because these side effects are what Face 5 targets first during your skin-clearing journey, the usage of antibiotics contributes to an increase in skin concerns that, in turn, elongate your acne-clearing process.

Oral Antibiotics

Experts in the skin care and health industries warn that taking too many antibiotics for acne (or for too long) can increase the risk of antibiotic-resistant superbugs, as well as your body’s natural ability to fight off common diseases and infections.

Oral antibiotics, if used, should be used for the shortest time possible in order to prevent said antibiotic resistance. However, due to the long-term nature of acne and how acne cannot be treated but can be successfully managed (as seen in the testimonials here at Face 5!) too many people are on oral antibiotics for their acne long-term… and don’t know the amount of havoc they are wreaking on their body’s immune system and general health. For example, taking antibiotics without having an infection has been well-reported to be hard on the liver, stomach, and kidneys. Many medicines, in fact, can trigger acute kidney injury.

Due to oral antibiotics “masking” the root cause of acne instead of effectively treating it, the majority of people who stop taking antibiotics for their acne see a resurgence in it.

How to Treat Your Acne Long-Term Without the Use of Antibiotics 

While there is no cure for acne, acne specialists can treat and manage acne effectively long-term in using a blend of modalities. 

Here is how you can start managing yours or your teen’s from home: 

  • Do your research: Knowing that acne treatment isn’t a one-size fits all is half the battle. Book your free 15-minute consultation with Face 5 today, and, ahead of your visit with me, be sure to check out Face 5’s reservoir of free acne resources to educate yourself on the clear skin tactics that will be implemented. 


  • Turn to an acne specialist for science-backed, up-to-date information and hands-on advice: For an at-home acne routine that works, fill out Face 5’s Acne Rescue Kit assessment form. Each of these kits is 100% customized, comes with five-to-seven non-comedogenic skin care products based on your unique skin care needs and goals, a complimentary Acne Solution Guide, and one complimentary acne specialist-approved Icy Gel and lip balm from the Face 5 online store. If you’re not sure which kit to purchase, reach out to us directly for an expert recommendation!


  • Maintain your results: I recommend booking maintenance appointments every four-to-six weeks virtually or in-clinic, regardless of how long your skin has been cleared for.  This is to provide ongoing support and guidance and clearing residual acne concerns (such as pigmentation and scarring).

Book Your First (Or Next) Appointment With an Acne Specialist Today

There are myriad reasons why you should avoid taking antibiotics for acne, especially when there are so many other more effective, more science-based approaches available.

For example, if you are a new client who is struggling with back acne (also known as “backne”) this summer then you should know that Face 5’s backne-clearing treatments are $10 off until the end of August 2021!

Summer-ready skin starts now. Book your appointment today to start on your journey to clear skin for life.