Skin Medications & Side Effects – Your Essential Guide

Many of our clients have tried everything for their skin issues before visiting our clinic. And I mean everything! Sometimes all at once! Before reaching for the commonly prescribed skin medications and ingredients, read our essential guide to become aware of some common side effects.


One of the biggest side effects of this medication is a skin condition known as Melasma.

Melasma appears as significant patches of pigmentation on the forehead, nose, cheeks and upper lip. It is quite prominent and really stubborn to lighten. People are rarely warned about this issue when they are prescribed oral contraception for acne.


Roaccutane (Isotretinoin) works by decreasing the size and secretions of the sebaceous glands. This is a very strong drug, with many associated side effects.

Many of our clients have been on multiple rounds of Isotretinoin and still struggle with acne afterwards.

By permanently affecting the sebaceous gland, the skin can become very dry, flaky and delicate. The skin also becomes very sensitive to sunlight during use.

Isotretinoin should be a last resort medication, for very severe cystic acne. There are a number of safe interventions that can be tried prior, including: diet, hormone balancing, gut testing, Corneotherapeutic skin care and LED therapy.


Antibiotics are usually prescribed for quite lengthy periods for Perioral Dermatitis, Acne and Rosacea.

This has a significant effect on the microbiome and often results in a rebound growth of pathogenic organisms such as Candida and Dysbiotic Bacteria.

Often, the underlying causative factor for these conditions is a gut pathogen and imbalance in beneficial bacteria, and therefore further disrupting the beneficial flora and environment will compound the issue.

Some antibiotics can be used effectively if they are targeted. For example for Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) that is commonly associated with Rosacea. However there are evidence-based herbal and nutritional eradication protocols that are just as effective, with few side-effects.

A good gut protocol will incorporate stool testing, breath testing (if necessary) and will be tailored to the presenting picture and symptoms. Gut integrity must be restored after either intervention, with a ‘heal and seal’ protocol.


This is usually used for acne. Benzoyl Peroxide is a bleach and an industrial chemical that often stains clothes and linen and is frequently used in the plastics industry.

This is one of the worst offenders in skin care.

By seriously drying out the skin, the result is a very damaged skin barrier and acid mantle. The barrier and acid mantle are amongst the first lines of defence for the skin. They help to keep bacteria and microbes OUT and lipids and water IN. By destroying this essential aspect of the skin, we are setting ourselves up for a rebound of acne and a whole host of other nasty microbes and pathogens.

Benzoyl Peroxide also stimulates free radicals and oxidative damage which leads to DNA damage and accelerated ageing.

Want to chat to us about a safer way to sustainably clear skin? Call us to book your appointment today!

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