Monday, July 13, 2009
Medical Reports: Acne Alert
As if breakouts aren't bad enough, now doctors are fighting super acne, pimples that won't go away with traditional treatments. Seven's Lynn Martinez has tonight's special assignment report Acne Alert.
WSVN -- No matter how old you are, acne can be devastating. Mirna Brooks never had breakouts as a teenager, but acne hit her with a vengeance in her 20s.
Mirna Brooks: "I had massive breakouts. My whole entire face around here was very severely broken out. I cried honestly, every night."
Mirna's dermatologist put her on a traditional antibiotic, which should have cleared it up.
Mirna Brooks: "They worked some but it would come back quick. In the time frame of using it a month, I would see it flare back the following month."
Eventually, the antibiotics didn't work at all.
Mirna Brooks: "My skin was more resistant to it I believe."
Antibiotics are used to clear up acne caused by bacteria, but because so many people have overused antibiotics for years, the acne bacteria is changing and becoming resistant to the drugs. This new type of super acne is tough for doctors to treat.
Dr. Jonette Keri: "We are becoming more concerned with acne having bacterial resistance associated with it. If you keep exposing bacteria to the same antibiotic over and over, a certain population, the very strong, will become resistant to that antibiotic."
And anyone can get super acne from teenagers to adults
Dr. Jonette Keri: "It is more commonly associated with patients who have been antibiotics for extended periods of time."
Most dermatologists have no way of testing for super acne, all they can do is look for certain signs.
Dr. Tory Sullivan: "If someone is doing well and all of a sudden their acne gets worse, that's a sign that they maybe resistant or if you start treatment on somebody and they never get better, that's a sign of resistance."
To prevent that resistance, doctors are now combining antibiotics with a Benzoyl Peroxide treatment.
Dr. Tory Sullivan: "Benzoyl Peroxide directly kills all bacteria. So if you combine that with an antibiotic, it kind of ensures that none of the bacteria is going to get away."
But if you're on antibiotics that aren't doing the trick there is hope. Laser and light treatments, birth control and Accutane can help clear up bad skin.
Dr. Jonette Keri: "We sort of have to be one step ahead of the bacteria so that we can continue to treat even common conditions like acne."
Even though they know these super bugs will continue to get stronger and smarter.
Lynn Martinez: "While this acne bacteria is not life-threatening, doctors do worry the super acne could pass on its drug-resistant properties to more harmful bacteria."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Dr. Tory Sullivan
16100 NE 16th Ave. Suite A
North Miami Beach
Dr. Jonette Keri
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine