Super Acne: Zits fighting back

AcneHealth

The last several generations have grown up with the Clearasil and Stridex television commercials. Acne isn't going away, in fact, doctors now say acne is harder to get rid of than ever. Like many teenagers, fifteen year old Zach Arco is concerned about zits.

"It's a big issue." Zach says. "I have to worry about it day or night."

And for good reason. Baylor-Plano Dermatologist Mark Thieberg says the bacteria that causes acne is becoming resistant to antibiotics.

"The bacteria gets smarter, we can show in a lab that they find ways to circumvent the antibiotics that we've used to knock them out."

Commonly used antibiotics like Tetracycline are no longer as effective. Dr. Thieberg says the bacteria is getting smart.

"Traditionally, the antibiotics have been pretty helpful, but you'll see someone who have been one, two or three antibiotics, but then they stop working and you've got to develop a new strategy."

Between 75 and 90 percent of teens reportedly are effected by acne and young adults aren't immune with up to half having problems with acne, but teenagers, like Zach, are on the front lines of acne.

"Even mild acne for a teenager can be pretty devastating." Dr. Thieberg says. "Self image, self esteem is probably the most important thing for someone that age."

Dr. Thieberg says the combination of Benzoil Peroxide and antibiotics seem to work well. There are also ways to fight acne, including hormonal therapy. The goal he says is to manage the acne to avoid possible scarring.

"When you clear someone up who has really bad acne, it's quite accomplishment, it's quite helpful for their psyche ."

Just ask Zach.

"We don't want it and it's bad." Zach says." The girls are like, oh, we want the girls."

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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