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Antibiotics are medicines that kill bacteria causing infection or treat infections caused by them. They belong to a large group of antimicrobials that cannot be taken orally (by mouth) as they can irritate our stomach and intestines. You may need antibiotics for many reasons, not just a skin infection. Depending on your skin condition, your skin doctor will choose whether you should take antibiotics in tablet form or the form of an ointment. Taking antibiotics in tablet form and during periods is not a problem. You can continue to take your skin doctor-prescribed antibiotic tablets if necessary for your condition. Do not stop taking your medication before it’s time to do so – this may cause the infection to re-occur or return.
Antibiotics do not affect your period as per skin doctors:
- This is just an old wives’ tale. Antibiotics do not interfere with your menstruation. During periods or not, you should always follow the instructions on your prescription label. If you are unsure how to take your medicine, speak with your skin doctor for advice on handling it safely and effectively.
- There’s no scientific evidence to prove that taking antibiotics can affect your period. However, it is advisable to finish the entire treatment prescribed by your doctor even if you feel better or notice no improvement in symptoms. This ensures that there aren’t any ‘leftover’ bacteria remaining, which may cause infection later on and prevent resistant strains of bacteria from developing upon treatment failure.
- Scientific studies have shown that antibiotics don’t cause a delay or change to your period. Some studies have shown that taking antibiotics does not affect menstrual flow. The length, regularity, and amount of your periods are not affected when you take antibiotics during your period. Suppose an antibiotic can cause problems with your period. In that case, a warning is mentioned in the package insert, or your skin doctor will advise you of the potential risks of taking that particular antibiotic.
What are the types of antibiotics advised by skin doctors?
Doxycycline: It is a kind of antibiotic that treats skin infections such as acne, rosacea. Etc. Taking this drug does not affect your menstrual cycle.
Tetracycline: This medication is commonly used to treat skin problems like acne.
Azithromycin: This is an antibiotic that treats mild bacterial infections of the skin.
In emergencies, antibiotics taken from outside can also cure bacterial skin infections that occur during periods. Discussing the risks and benefits with your doctor will help you decide about using any prescribed medications during your period.
What to do if you miss your period while taking antibiotics:
If your menstrual cycle is delayed by more than five days, you can consult your skin doctor if you are taking antibiotics. There can be other reasons why you can miss your periods while taking skin treatment from your skin doctor. These are:
- Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS):
PCOS is a condition that may affect your menstrual cycle. It causes the levels of certain hormones in your body to be higher than usual. These changes can cause you to have fewer periods, irregular periods, or no periods at all.
Stress does not directly lead to missing periods, but if stress is severe, it can also change the levels of hormones in your body. The changes can also cause you to have fewer periods or no periods at all.
Weight loss and weight gain can affect your menstrual cycle. If you lose weight, it can trigger your body to stop ovulating (producing eggs every month). It is good if you can maintain a healthy weight by eating well and exercising.
If you eat very little and exercise a lot, your periods may stop. This is because this lifestyle does not provide the nutrients needed by the body to ovulate (produce eggs) and menstruate (have periods).
If you have malnutrition, your periods may stop. This is because the body needs all the nutrients provided by a healthy diet to ovulate (produce eggs) and menstruate (have periods). If you are not eating well or very sick, your periods may stop because of this.
If you are under stress, your periods may stop. This is because this lifestyle does not provide the nutrients needed by the body to ovulate (produce eggs) and menstruate (have periods). Stress can cause few or no periods at all, so consult your skin doctor if distressful situations drive you to miss your periods repeatedly.
- History of irregular periods:
Suppose your menstrual cycle has always been irregular. In that case, you will continue having irregular periods even after you recover from your illness if your periods have always been irregular before the period was missed.
- Hormonal disorders or tumours in the ovary or adrenal gland:
If you have a hormonal disease or tumour in the ovary or adrenal gland, which your skin doctor has diagnosed, stressful situations may cause you to miss periods. If stress is causing this problem, you can consult your skin doctor for alternative ways to deal with stress better.
According to the skin doctors, what are the other medications for skin that you should not take during periods?
- Steroids are medicines that decrease inflammation and suppress the immune system. Taking steroids during menstruation can increase your risk of blood clots, leading to deep vein thrombosis or blockage in the arteries of the lung. There is also a possibility that steroids taken orally may interfere with your menstrual cycle by making it irregular. Your skin doctor will advise you not to take corticosteroids when you have an active infection until treatment is completed, as they can cause harm to healthy tissue near the infective site. Taking corticosteroids reduces inflammation, so if your skin condition is inflamed, this will mask its symptoms which might delay appropriate treatment. Topical corticosteroids are safe to use during periods without any problems.
- Salicylic acid and retinoids:
- Topical salicylic acid and retinoids are commonly prescribed for acne. These medicines can dry out your skin. Applying these medications to your facial skin during menstruation may cause you to experience a temporary increase in acne, as dryness of the skin is known to aggravate it. Taking them during periods reduces the risk of irritation as they are less likely to be applied on sensitive facial skin during this time.
- Taking this medication during periods reduces the risk of contraception failure, but if you are trying to achieve or avoid pregnancy, you shouldn’t take acitretin. Discuss your family planning methods with your skin doctor before starting treatment with acitretin.
- These medications block the effect of androgens (male hormones) on sebaceous glands in the skin. They are mainly used to treat male-pattern hair loss or prostate cancer in men. Taking antiandrogen medications during menstruation may make your periods longer, irregular, lighter, or more painful. This is because androgens help control the menstrual cycle.
- Many antibiotics are safe, and many doctors advise you antibiotics during your skin treatment. Your skin doctor will not prescribe anything without checking with you first, and taking antibiotics during periods will not make them irregular. Your skin doctor will take a detailed history of your menstrual cycle and may advise you to consult your gynaecologist if there is a possibility of infection as it can be confused with period pain. The most common side effect of antibiotics is usually on the stomach.
Side effects of antibiotics:
- Stomach Upsets:
The most commonly known side effect of antibiotics is an upset stomach. If you are taking antibiotics, it can cause mild to severe diarrhea, nausea or vomiting.
Some people develop mild allergies to medications, including antibiotic tablets. Rashes are common allergic reactions of antibiotic pills, including hives, itching, or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, and throat area.
3· Eye Symptoms:
If you notice that your vision has become blurred or there are other eye symptoms, then contact your skin doctor straight away.
- Blood Disorders:
Antibiotics may lower your white blood cell count. White blood cells are essential for protecting the body against infections. If your white blood cell count is too low, you have an increased disease risk, so contact your skin doctor straight away.
5· Liver Damage:
Ketolide antibiotics may lead to hepatitis or liver damage in some people, so if you notice pain on the right side of the stomach, fever, tiredness, or yellowing of eyes or skin, you must speak to your skin doctor immediately.
6· Muscle Pain:
Many antibiotics can cause muscle pain and inflammation in some people. This can be helped by taking paracetamol with antibiotics.
7· Allergic reactions
Many people who use some kinds of antibiotics will experience an allergic reaction during treatment which may include swelling around the face or fingers, skin rashes, itching sensations on the skin, which may also develop into hives. Inappropriate drug reactions can be severe; therefore, if this happens, stop the medication and call your doctor as soon as possible.
Do not overdo on your antibiotics if not advised by your skin doctors:
- Taking antibiotics at higher doses for more extended periods may affect your body’s ability to absorb iron properly.
- Refrain from taking too many supplements while on antibiotics, as this may harm the medication, you are being treated with.
- Only take antibiotics if prescribed by your skin doctor. Do not take antibiotics that are prescribed for other people or family/friends.
- If you notice any signs of an allergic reaction, consult your doctor immediately.
What are the tips for taking antibiotics prescribed by your skin doctor if you are on your periods?
- Antibiotic tablets are usually taken in the morning, preferably at least 30 minutes before breakfast.
- Refrain from taking supplements when on antibiotics.
3· Take all medication as prescribed, not missing or doubling doses unless advised by your doctor.
4· If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible, but if it is nearly time for your next dose, skip it and return to the normal scheduled dosage instead of double dosing.
5· Do not alter the medication without consulting with your skin specialist first; doing so can make you resistant to certain types of drugs.
6· Never let anyone take antibiotics prescribed to you without medical supervision and properly follow your doctor’s instructions and steps given carefully.
- Take your antibiotics after meals. If you find that reaction occurs after taking antibiotics, then avoid taking them with milk-based products to minimize this reaction.
8· Always know the type of drug prescribed by your skin doctor and ensure that it does not interact with other medication or herbal supplements you are currently using before furthering any use.
9· Seek advice if pregnant, intend to become pregnant or breastfeeding as certain drugs may cause harm to unborn babies.
- Antibiotics should always be taken under medical supervision throughout the treatment plan set out by your doctors. Antibiotics work best when used correctly; therefore, follow all instructions given carefully.
Try alternative skin treatment if you are fearful about taking antibiotics:
If you think antibiotics can cause any impact on your periods and you do not feel comfortable taking them during your period, try alternative skin treatment such as homeopathic treatment.
Benefits of using the homeopathic treatment for skin:
- Homeopathic treatment is not only strong medicine, but it has no side effects like antibiotics.
- Homeopathic remedies are proven effective in treating skin diseases with no harm to the skin or body.
3· Homeopathy treatment is harmless; it can be used even by children and pregnant women without fear of drug interaction or adverse reactions.
4· Homeopathic remedies are distributed similarly, just like any conventional medicine- orally or by injection, depending on your skin status.
5· It can be used to treat all types of skin infections, including acne-causing bacterial strains, without the fear of developing antibiotic resistance.
The results of homeopathic treatment are gradual but satisfying, with no side effects at all. It is advisable to visit your doctor as soon as possible after noticing any signs of allergic reaction from antibiotic usage to ensure that the situation does not get out of hand and may keep you vigilant on proper medication usage. You can visit a skin doctor by booking an appointment through OHO Homeopathy!