Well, now you have just heard of someone who's skin got better on antibiotics.
I used mino for a year. I stopped breaking out immediately and stayed perfectly clear the first 6 months. The last 6 months I got only very minor breakouts, still an improvement from where I started. I stopped taking them to go on 'tane for my oily skin problems, so I can't tell you what would have happened had I stopped them and not taken anything else.
I took minocycline for a year. It did nothing. I just went to get on accutane and the doctor put me on doxcycline (100mg 2x daily) and spironolactone (100mg 2x daily) for 30 days. For some reason, the government needs to see history of other treatments that failed to allow docs to prescribe accutane. So far, the dox and spiro are doing NOTHING as well. I guess every person is different!
Antibiotics do work as acne is caused by the staph bacteria. If the antibiotic isn't working then the doc may need to try a different one. You also have to be sure to use good infection control with acne. Don't pick at the pimples as this causes the staph bacteria to spread to other areas of your skin causing more pimples, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after you touch your face, do not share your wash cloth and towel with others and be sure to use only a mild soap to wash your face with. As for why docs prescribe the antibiotics it is to help control the staph bacteria.
I've been taking minocycline for a month now and it's really helping my skin. For the first time in years I know what it feels like to wake up and not have to worry about an impending zit on my face. I don't know about the long term effects of the antibiotic, but I guess my face just needed a break from the constant breakouts I had the past three months. At least it's getting some time to heal.
I think the reason SOME dermatologists like to try every possible treatment before prescribing accutane is because accutane is a very serious drug with lots of serious potential side effects.
I think a lot of people think that Accutane is a "cure" for acne and maybe for some people it is.....but after reading LOTS of posts on here, you'll see it's not. You'll read about people taking 3 and 4 courses of accutane and still breaking out.
I for one, would rather try any potential less serious treatment and possibly finding something that works before taking accutane.