This week's Your Health with Angie Bailey takes a look at a growing trend in shrinking antibiotic use. You've probably heard the expression, less is more. That could be the case when it comes to some skin problems.
Sub-antimicrobial doses, or smaller doses of some common antibiotics could clear up your acne and be the answer to antibiotic resistance. Anyone who has had chronic skin problems knows there are many different approaches to trying to clear up your skin. And just because one works for a while, doesn't mean it's going to keep working
"I didn't like the fact of adding something else to my routine at night, the topicals, the gels... this is just a little bit easier," said dermatology patient, Jennifer Weith.
She's talking about sub-antimicrobials. Her doctor reduced the dosage of antibiotics she's taking, and it's working.
As dermatologist Dr. John Despain explains, "You get away from drug resistance, drug interaction, theoretically there would be less chance of interaction with birth control pills on lower doses, sun sensitivity, stomach upset. In many ways, subantimicrobial dosing is as safe as taking a sugar pill," said Despain.
"One of the antibiotics, just one time a day. And it's help[ing] clear up things. No side effects other trying to remember to take it every day," said Weith.
Studies show at least 80% of us are eventually going to have to deal with acne, many as adults. This means a whole host of lotions, gels, creams and antibiotics, sometimes up to four times a day, and sometimes several hundred milligrams a day. So one pill once a day could significantly cut down on your acne regime as well as the amount of medicine your body has to process on a daily basis.
In as many as three-quarters of his patients, Dr. Despain says taking smaller doses works just as well if not better for clearing up skin as the traditional higher doses. And sub-antimicrobials can be taken for months if not years if necessary, with no risk of antibiotics resistance.
Dentists were the first doctors to use sub-antimicrobial dosage, then dermatologist picked up on the benefits.
Studies show it could be used in the next few years for arthritis, heart disease or any other inflammatory disease.