Background: Systemic antibiotics are an effective treatment for acne vulgaris. However, intolerable side effects may invariably occur.
Objective: To determine whether probiotics reduce the side effects imparted by systemic antibiotics while working synergistically with the latter in treating inflammatory acne.
Methods: Forty-five 18- to 35-year-old females were randomly assigned to one of three arms in this prospective, open-label study. Group A received probiotic supplementation, whereas group B received only minocycline. Group C was treated with both probiotic and minocycline. Clinical and subjective assessments were completed at baseline and during the 2-, 4-, 8-, and 12-week follow-up visits.
Results: All patients demonstrated a significant improvement in total lesion count 4 weeks after treatment initiation (p < .001), with continued improvement seen with each subsequent follow-up visit (p < .01). At the 8- and 12-week follow-up visits, group C had a significant decrease in total lesion count versus groups A (p < .001) and B (p < .01). Two patients (13%) from group B failed to complete the study secondary to vaginal candidiasis.
Conclusion: Probiotics may be considered a therapeutic option or adjunct for acne vulgaris by providing a synergistic antiinflammatory effect with systemic antibiotics while also reducing potential adverse events secondary to chronic antibiotic use.