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How Effective Is Acidophilus for Acne?

Mallory Hall
Mallory Hall

Although people of all ages can have acne, the skin disorder affects teenagers and young adults more than any other age group. Acne and zits often pop up during the years when young adults are just beginning to figure out who they are and where they fit in social settings, so many teenagers are eager to find a cure or a way to prevent acne outbreaks. Although young adults might not choose acidophilus for acne, this “good” bacteria can be quite effective when used to combat and prevent outbreaks. Acidophilus fights off the bad bacteria that build up in the gastrointestinal tract and cause acne.

The acidophilus bacterium, known scientifically as Lactobacillus acidophilus, has been studied and proved to have many beneficial effects for overall health, and it is extremely successful when combating acne. Known as a probiotic, it helps prevent the buildup of detrimental bacteria and is mostly found in the vagina and within the gastrointestinal tract. Acidophilus helps the body to keep acid at healthy levels within the vagina, intestines and stomach in an attempt to prevent harmful bacteria from causing infections. An acidophilus dose is labeled according to how many living organisms are within each capsule; a typical dose is between 1 billion to 10 billion organisms, divided among three or four doses each day.

Sauerkraut contains acidophilus.
Sauerkraut contains acidophilus.

When harmful bacteria build up in the body, acne can occur as a byproduct of the process because there is less acidophilus available to fight off the bacteria. As long as healthy levels of acidophilus are maintained within the body, this type of bacteria can significantly reduce the acne outbreak. Some factors — including prescription drugs, antibiotics and chlorinated water — might deplete an individual’s levels of acidophilus, making supplementation of acidophilus for acne necessary. People who are taking acidophilus supplements find them at health food and grocery stores. If pills are not appealing, the individual might also consume more yogurt, although the levels of acidophilus in the food will vary depending on the brand.

Pitcher of acidophilus milk.
Pitcher of acidophilus milk.

Side effects from a treatment of acidophilus for acne are rare, but some individuals report experiencing allergic reactions, with symptoms including hives or swelling of the throat, lips, tongue and face and an increased difficulty when breathing. If antibiotics have been prescribed for a different health condition, acidophilus supplements should be taken a few hours before or after the antibiotics because these drugs can weaken and kills both bad bacteria and good, such as acidophilus. People of all ages, not just teenagers and young adults, can successfully use acidophilus for acne treatments.

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Discussion Comments


I have been taking lactobacillus acidophilus for digestion for several years and my skin problems have completely disappeared. I had poor digestion and blemishes for many years--teens to mid-30s. I now take one tablet with 2 billion cultures per day. I eat a lot of yogurt as well but found this did not provide enough acidophilus.


This works. I am African American and I have had acne all my life. I have many hyper-pigmentation spots from when acne had damaged my skin. Unfortunately I am allergic to benzoyl peroxide, so I am locked out of a very effective acne treatment.

Finally, I just grew fed up and started reading everything I could. I found an article that mentions acidophilus, and I remembered I got an infection last year that had me take an antibiotic. When I took it, even my wife noticed that my skin was blemish free, even though I kept having to hit the toilet. So I decided to give the acidophilus a shot. It really worked. I have not had any outbreaks for two months.

The spots where I regularly used to get outbreaks are still there, but they have not flared with inflammation. Now I am concentrating on removing the blemishes.

All I can say is good luck and try it. If it doesn't work, move on.


I actually put it in my lotions and put it directly on my skin.


@burcinc-- I took acidophilus for two months. Unfortunately, it didn't do anything for my acne. It improved my regularity but that was about it. I took the tablets with 100 million active cultures, maybe I didn't take the right one I don't know.


@burcinc-- I discovered that acidophilus is effective for acne by chance. I was on a strong dose of antibiotics due to a bad ear infection six months ago. I started experiencing a lot of diarrhea after my treatment. My doctor said that this is due to the antibiotics wiping out good bacteria in the digestive tract and recommended that I take acidophilus supplements.

After a week of taking the supplements, I noticed that there was a reduction in my acne and my skin was starting to look better. Several weeks later, my face had completely cleared up and my blemishes were starting to fade.

I've been taking acidophilus supplements regularly every since. I highly suggest you try them. I don't know about probiotic yogurt, I think the supplements are more potent and effective.


Has anyone here tried acidophilus for their acne? Did it work?

Did you take it in supplement form or as yogurt? I know grocery stores sell probiotic yogurt. Is that a good source of acidophilus?

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    • Sauerkraut contains acidophilus.
      Sauerkraut contains acidophilus.
    • Pitcher of acidophilus milk.
      By: picsfive
      Pitcher of acidophilus milk.
    • A close up of acne.
      By: olavs
      A close up of acne.