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Antibiotic Resistance in Patients With Rosacea


The American Acne and Rosacea Society is spotlighting the issue as part of Rosacea Awareness Month.

This Rosacea Awareness Month, the American Acne and Rosacea Society (AARS) is shining a light on the topic of antimicrobial antibiotic resistance.


In a press release,1 AARS leadership detailed the importance of the issue and why it is so relevant now, more than ever.

“It has been well known for years that dermatologists prescribe more antibiotics per clinician than prescribers in any specialty,” said James Del Rosso, DO, AARS president-elect, in the press release. Del Rosso is an adjunct clinical professor of dermatology at the Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 2.8 million cases of resistant infections occur in the United States annually. Furthermore, the CDC classifies antimicrobial resistance as a global public health threat.

Apart from the threat of antimicrobial resistance, researchers in a 2014 study2 identified the following additional risks of antibiotic overuse, all of which are increased:

  • Adverse effects, some of a life-threatening nature
  • Healthcare costs
  • Length of disease
  • Medicalization of self-limiting infectious conditions
  • More severe diseases
  • Mortality rate
  • Re-attendance due to infectious diseases
  • Risk of complications

According to the study, 20% of all drug-related emergency department visits can be attributed to antibiotics.

“Our goal is not just to reduce the amount of antibiotics,” study authors wrote. “It is also to promote a rational use of antibiotics by prescribing antibiotics only to patients who are expected to benefit from the treatment.”

Despite the threat of antimicrobial resistance or other adverse effects, the National Rosacea Society conducted a study and found that the majority of patients with rosacea had never heard of antibiotic resistance.3

Del Rosso is also a part of the AARS Scientific Panel on Antibiotic Use in Dermatology (SPAUD). The panel works to emphasize and raise awareness for responsible antibiotic use by staying ahead of new and existing information on the subject.

“There is a role for antibiotics, but prescribers should always be looking at other modalities and not just reflexively be prescribing the same way we’ve done things over and over again,” Del Rosso said. “It is important in the field of dermatology that we continue to progress and to develop better treatments...We want to make sure we handle that responsibly and that we always make sure we're taking care of patients the best way that we can.”


  1. American Acne and Rosacea Society. American Acne and Rosacea Society shines light on antibiotic resistance during Rosacea Awareness Month. Published April 17, 2023. Accessed April 18, 2023.
  2. Llor C, Bjerrum L. Antimicrobial resistance: risk associated with antibiotic overuse and initiatives to reduce the problem. Ther Adv Drug Saf. 2014;5(6):229-241. doi:10.1177/2042098614554919
  3. Rosacea sufferers and dermatologists can play an important role in fighting antibiotic resistance. Rosacea.org. https://www.rosacea.org/blog/2021/january/rosacea-sufferers-dermatologists-can-play-important-role-in-fighting-antibiotic-resistance. Published January 26, 2021. Accessed April 18, 2023.
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