My experience with Erythromycin for Acne

My experience with Erythromycin for Acne is not a paid post, but it does include affiliate links which are marked with a *

I wanted to share with you my experience with Erythromycin for Acne and whether the antibiotics have been helping me or not.

Struggling with Acne

For around four years now, I have struggled with acne and keeping my skin in check. I’ll be totally honest in saying that I’ve found it a truly depressing experience. Any woman or man will be able to understand how horrible it feels to have lost control of their skin and be unable to cover acne or breakouts up, and it’s awful to lose confidence in yourself because of this. You constantly feel inferior and dread taking your makeup off at the end of the day and having to look at your skin. The thing that personally made me feel even worse is the fact that I work as a makeup artist. I meet clients daily who will be looking at the appearance of my skin and makeup and judging me on how I look. Yes, it’s wrong, but people expect makeup artists to look a certain way and if you don’t, they see that as a negative reflection over the work that you produce.

Trying (and failing) different treatments

After trying countless treatments from antibiotics and topical creams, to changing my pill and completely changing my diet and skincare routine, I felt like it was hopeless. I’d manage to take control of the situation for a few weeks or so, only to be horrified another week later to find my skin in another big mess. At its worst, it was painful, red and prone to dry patches. My acne tends to be more hormonal – my biggest problem area is my chin and jaw, but if I’m run down or my asthma is playing up, I’ll break out along my cheeks and forehead too.

My experience with Erythromycin for treating Acne

My acne at its worst in 2013. This image is not altered in any way | My experience with Erythromycin for Acne

My experience with Erythromycin for Acne

A few weeks ago I decided that enough was enough and that I deserved to stop feeling so miserable because of my skin. I visited my doctor who prescribed me Erythromycin in 250g that I would need to take twice a day. I’ve been prescribed Erythromycin before in the past for chest infections and knew that I always reacted badly – from sickness to dizziness and generally feeling horrific. The doctor told me to try it out and see how I got along and told me that these were common side effects rather than an allergic reaction.

My Erythromycin side effects

Starting around the 17th of February, I took my first tablet an hour after eating as I found this worked better for me when I’d taken the tablets previously.

Within an hour or two, I was in agony with my stomach and couldn’t work out whether I had a stomach bug or whether I needed to be sick. I took my evening tablet just before going to bed and woke up in the night with severe stomach cramps and sickness.

This pattern lasted a while. I won’t lie to you all, the first five days were absolutely awful. I’d feel constantly sick, my stomach was in bits and I felt so dizzy and almost motion sick constantly. I was constantly feeling sickly, cold shivers down my back and felt like I was full of flu. I couldn’t get on with my work and spent most of the days in bed crying with a hot water bottle and a bucket in case I couldn’t make it to the bathroom in time to be sick. I kept wondering whether it was the tablets or if I had a stomach bug, but the longer it lasted and the more research I did, the more I realised it was side effects caused by the tablets.

Persevering with Erythromycin

I did a lot of reading up online and found that many people had the same complaints as me, but the saving grace was that 90% of people said that their symptoms eased after the first few days to a week. I decided to persevere. I put up with the horrible side effects for around a week and a half before things slowly started to improve with my health. I stopped feeling so sickly and began to feel a little more like myself aside from feeling constantly exhausted.

I noticed that my skin actually began to get worse and I despaired thinking things would never get better, but here I am almost a month later and my skin is actually beginning to look clearer than it has in a long time. Sure, it’s still got a bit of a way to go, but I really think the tablets have been helping me along and I don’t tend to feel the reaction to them anymore. Some days I do, but for the most part, I’m okay.

My experience with Erythromycin for treating Acne

My Acne back in September after trying out the Arbonne Clear Future system. Sadly my skin broke out badly again right after treatment. Makeup free and unfiltered | My experience with Erythromycin for Acne

I wanted to write this post as I had a few people asking me over on Instagram how I was getting along with the tablets and also telling me how bad they felt too. In my experience, things did get better but it was an awful journey to get to this point. I was also advised by a pharmacist that because I have naturally red hair, I’m more likely to be super sensitive to antibiotics and also feel more pain and discomfort than other people. I found that quite an interesting fact seen as regular tablets never touch my headaches, the fact that I needed more anaesthetic to be put to sleep for an operation, and the fact that I have the least common side effects to most antibiotics that I’ve ever had to take!

Along with changing up my antibiotics, I’ve also changed my skincare around. I intend to film a video on this for my YouTube channel as 75% of you voted for a skincare routine video over on my Twitter poll. I’ll be posting it up on my blog once it’s live so keep a look out if you’re interested to see.

My experience with Erythromycin for treating Acne

My skin now (2016) makeup free and unfiltered – just a swipe of Carmex on the lips | My experience with Erythromycin for Acne

Staying positive

For any of you out there suffering with acne or breakouts, I really sympathise with you. My acne is by no means ‘bad’ compared to what a lot of people have to deal with, but as you’ll know if you suffer even mildly, it absolutely shatters your confidence.

I wish you all well in overcoming your struggle with acne and hope that you manage to get your skin to the stage you really want in order to feel confident again.

Please remember, even though you might not feel it, you are still beautiful, loved and special and outward appearance has no reflection on a beautiful soul.

Shop my favourite skincare products

Magnitone London WipeOut Microfibre Cleansing Cloth* (this is AMAZING and just needs water to remove ALL makeup!)
Garnier Micellar Oil-Infused Cleansing Water*
AHAVA Dead Sea Mud Mineral Mud Soap*

Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream*
La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Ultra Light Invisible Fluid SPF50*

Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream

Starskin Sheet Masks* (I LOVE the VIP Coconut bio-cellulose mask)
Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel*

2020 UPDATE!

Unfortunately, Erythromycin didn’t work longterm for me, so I sought another solution. Read all about my experience with Accutane (Isotretinoin/Roaccutane) here, and find out how I’ve kept my skin clear for years. 


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