Treating Acne with Medicine is Stupid

Don’t change a thing. Just take these forever.

Why would you treat the symptoms of a reversible and preventable affliction?

Would you pop an Advil if someone were beating you over the head with a hammer?

Do you think obesity should be treated with a pill or is that missing the point?

Are you looking to treat your acne for the rest of … however long? If you take medicine and acne goes away, when do you stop taking the medicine?

Would you rather remove the cause and never worry about medicating your face again? Who wants to slather creams or gels or moisturizers on their skin every day? I certainly don’t.

When I wake up I roll out of bed and get on with my day. When I go to bed I crash wherever I feel like without a second thought about my skin. I have no routine, regimen, or antibiotic doses to worry about it.

Is acne a Benzoyl Peroxide deficiency? An Accutane deficiency? A Salicylic Acid deficiency? Of course not. It can’t be because entire generations of people have existed who never suffered acne and of course had no access to these medicines.

Doctors don’t understand and therefore can’t treat acne.

Doctors will tell you that acne is caused by sebum pores becoming clogged with dead skin cells. The gland keeps producing oil, then becoming infected with P. Acnes bacteria (source). They just can’t really tell you why those pores become clogged with dead skin cells in the first place.

The method they then employ to reduce acne is generally to dry out the sebum glands (Retinoids, Accutane) or to kill the P. Acnes bacteria (Clindamycin, Benzoyl Peroxide, etc). Never addressed is the clogging in the first place. “Exfoliating” clearly doesn’t work.

Where is acne really coming from? Why do these pores spontaneously begin trapping their own dead skin cells? Why are they malfunctioning on the faces of millions? I don’t know and neither do doctors. I do know that returning to a human diet has ended the problem for me and many others.

Medicine is not a “Get Out of Jail Free” Card

Medicine doesn’t change the facts. Medication isn’t going to bail you out of mother nature. Medicine doesn’t mean you get to eat whatever you want; not change a thing about your lifestyle and still obtain clear skin. Medication is not the saving grace that will allow you to continue to be lazy and just do whatever feels good. Medicine may only temporarily relieve some of the symptoms of your disease. It will of course, still fester underneath.

Many of us would really prefer to use Benzoyl Peroxide, Salicylic Acid, or Doxycycline to take care of our acne because, really, who wants to never eat junk again? Change is hard! It’s much easier to simply pop a pill or smear a cream on.

The trouble is that it just doesn’t work very well. Most true acne sufferers know that medication, topical or ingested, work to varying degrees. They never entirely remove the disease. The only drug that comes close to that is Accutane and that comes with big…

Side effects

Accutane is the nuclear option for acne sufferers and is so powerful and damaging to the body that you must constantly apply lip balm and moisturizer as the drug slowly dries you to a crisp. Users report bloodshot eyes and hair falling out. Females prescribed the drug are required to get pregnancy tests because the side effects are so devastating for developing fetuses. Read about the possible link between Accutane, depression, and suicide in this study here. The best part being that even if Accutane does clear your skin, it may still return again later.

Sounds great, right?

Why not just stop eating garbage? See if that works before you hit the nuclear option?

Medication in general comes with side effects. Let’s not forget that years after many drugs hit the market, there are lawsuits filed against the manufacturers for ruining the lives of the people who take them. Take for exmaple Risperdal, accused of causing breast growth in boys and men. In 2012, Pfizer paid $164 million to settle a lawsuit against Celebrex.

These kinds of lawsuits and permanent damage happen all the time. Why take the risk of using medication, many of them powerful, until you’ve exhausted every other angle?

Yes, some medications make sense. Medication improves and saves the lives of many people who actually need them. Some medications save lives.

On the other hand, to have millions of young and otherwise healthy people taking medication for acne seems to be missing the point. Most of these people can probably reverse the disease without any medical intervention. To hit medication out of the gate is to be lazy and thoughtless.

Treating acne with medication is ignoring the disease

Even if a medicine does remove the unsightly spots …

Why would you ignore a disease like acne? Acne is visible but what about the invisible damage your lifestyle is doing to your body? You can’t see your heart or your liver. How do you know they are not being destroyed? Assuming acne is merely a cosmetic problem is foolish. Even if at this stage in your life it is only cosmetic, how do you know the facets that are causing acne now will not cause cancer or heart disease later? Isn’t it clear that something is wrong? Why take the risk? Why mask the symptoms, the pleading of your body, with medication?

In his article, Diet in Acne: Further Evidence for the Role of Nutrient Signalling in Acne Pathogenesis, Dr. Bodo Melnik states,

“Acne appears to be an early clinical indicator of hyperactivated mTORC1 signalling, paving the way to other more serious late-onset mTORC1-driven Western diseases of civilization, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and cancer.”

painAcne is a big flashing warning sign that you’re doing it wrong. You’re living wrong. It doesn’t matter how uncomfortable or inconvenient this fact is. The fact remains that you are living in a way that is harming you and may eventually kill you.

To slather medication over the symptoms merely serves to get you through another day. In no way does it actually address the underlying problem and is the reason I was never satisfied with the answers provided by the medical establishments.


It’s not merely a cosmetic problem. It is only the tip of the iceberg.

Is living the right way difficult? Is making big change and sacrifice a hard thing to do? Yes it is. It’s also the only way to achieve great things, like clear skin in the face of legions of doubters; in the face of oceans of junk food and bad science. Desperate times calls for desperate measures.

You could just take medicine, close your eyes, and pray for relief.

You could do that.

Or you could take acne for what it is, an early warning sign of damage to your body, and correct the problem (shitty food). You could also ignore what I am telling you, continue to trash your body, cover the issue with medicine and hope for the best. It’s your life.


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