"Super Acne" Could Be the Reason Your Skin Won't Clear Up

Just when we thought acne couldn’t get any worse, a newer, more potent form of acne has been discovered, mangling our hopes and dreams of having a buttery-smooth complexion. And to kick us while we’re down, it’s been dubbed “super acne.” The name alone infers that it’s some sort of Godzilla-like condition that can’t be taken down.

Do we have your palms sweating yet? Don’t worry—thankfully, it’s actually not as bad as it sounds.

Here’s the thing—when you take antibiotics to treat acne (or any other sort of bacteria in your system), there’s a strong chance the bacteria will become resistant to it. So if you’ve been using meds to treat your blemishes and notice they’ve stopped working, you’ve probably developed super acne (a really mean term for antibiotic-resistant acne bacteria).

Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi, founder and director of Capital Laser & Skin Care, explains that the best way to avoid this issue is to make sure you’re not only using antibiotics to fix the issue. Says Tanzi, “Antibiotics alone is a recipe for super acne. Acne is what dermatologists call a ‘multifactorial,’ problem, which means it’s caused by multiple issues such as too much sebum production, bacterial overgrowth, ‘sticky’ pores that get clogged, and inflammation. Since there are so many different issues that cause acne to occur, it’s best to treat acne with a variety of topical (and sometimes oral) treatments.”

So what should you do if super acne has taken up residence on your skin? One ingredient: benzoyl peroxide. Says Tanzi, “One of the best ways to prevent bacterial resistance is to use a little benzoyl peroxide in your skincare routine. If it’s too drying, just use a cleanser instead of a lotion with the ingredient.” Take a look at our favorite BP products for clearing acne below.

Want more acne remedies? Start with this clinically proven natural treatment.