Antibiotics are commonly the first line of medical treatment prescribed to control rosacea flare-ups. Though the exact mechanism of action is as yet unclear, both oral and topical antibiotics have been found to help resolve rosacea symptoms.
It is believed to be due to their anti-inflammatory rather than anti-bacterial activity. Some experimentation with a combination of topical and/or oral antibiotics may be necessary to find what works to control your flare-ups and symptoms. Of concern, however, are possible side effects associated with oral antibiotics including:
- Stomach upset and diarrhea
- Sensitivity to sun exposure
- Tooth discoloration
- Allergic reactions
- Micro-organism overgrowth ie yeast & staphylococcus infections
- Oral antibiotics can cause birth defects.
Another concern with long-term antibiotic use is antibiotic resistance, whereby microorganisms are able to survive exposure to an antibiotic. The longer the duration of exposure, the greater one’s risk of developing resistance to conventional antibiotics, which ultimately can have devastating consequences. Thus, long-term use of antibiotics is concerning. Although newer prescriptions for rosacea have lowered antibiotic doses to minimize negative side effects, more and more individuals look towards prescription-free remedies that include vitamins, supplements and skin treatments specific to this condition. Be sure to consult your physician.