Gold Member Badge


  • You're all caught up!

Natural Antibiotic for Acne

author image J.M. Andrews
J.M. Andrews has been a professional journalist for more than 20 years. She specializes in health and medical content for consumers and health professionals. Andrews' background in medicine and science has earned her credits in a wide range of online and print publications, including "Young Physicians" magazine.
Natural Antibiotic for Acne
Ointment next to herbs on a table. Photo Credit: Olezzo/iStock/Getty Images

In many cases of stubborn acne, you need antibiotics to treat the infection underlying your skin condition. However, overuse of antibiotics is causing a growing rate of antibiotic resistance, in which the antibiotic medication loses effectiveness against the bacterial infection. For acne sufferers seeking an alternative, natural antibiotic, the supplement niacinamide might help.

Video of the Day


Acne, a normal skin condition in teens, results when too much skin oil clogs your pores, according to the website But bacteria can turn a minor case of blackheads and whiteheads into a raging, inflamed pimple problem. Antibiotics fight bacterial infection in acne. They don't always resolve the skin condition entirely, but they can help to knock down the infection and reduce the risk of scarring.


Niacinamide, which sells in the United States as Nicomide-T, actually is niacin, or vitamin B-3, in gel form, according to the website It's also known as nicotinamide. Preparations containing 4 percent niacinamide seem to work most effectively against acne. Potential side effects include skin irritation and dryness, and seem to be minor in most cases, although it's possible to have a rare allergic reaction to the medication.


As a natural antibiotic used against acne, niacinamide appears as effective as a commonly used topical antibiotic, clindamycin. In a study published in 1995 in the International Journal of Dermatology, researcher Dr. A.R. Shalita and colleagues compared treatment with niacinamide with clindamycin in a double-blind investigation. They found that both treatments produced similar improvements in the number of acne lesions and acne severity.


Reviewers on the website reported good results with niacinamide for their acne. Although it may be possible for acne sufferers to create their own gel using ground niacin tablets, it would be difficult to get the percentage of active ingredient correct. Those who reported using niacinamide on said they use a pre-prepared version of the gel, such as Nicomide-T.


Although niacinamide may work as well against the bacterial infection in acne as topical antibiotics, acne sufferers usually need to address other acne causes, including pores clogged from excess oil, in order to completely clear their skin, according to the website If you use niacinamide, you may find you need a cleansing regimen that reduces oily skin, or perhaps a prescription for a retinoid topical medication, which can help clear out your pores.

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
Lose Weight. Feel Great! Change your life with MyPlate by LIVESTRONG.COM
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
  • Female
  • Male
ft. in.


Demand Media