Common Medicines which are used in Acne Vulgaris

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In this heat hot summer, Acne Vulgaris or in the most common language- pimple is going to be a headache for most of the young people. Pimples form when hair follicles under skin clog up. Most pimples form on the face, neck, back, chest, and shoulders. Anyone can get acne, but it is common in teenagers and young adults. It is not serious, but it can cause scars.

Although this skin problem is very common and almost every beauty column in newspaper publishes specially featured articles on acne, but very few people know about the common medicaments prescribed by the physicians or skin specialists. Here goes a short description of the four most commonly prescribed topical preparations for acne.

1. Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide is used to treat mild to moderate acne. It is a bacteriostatic agent used for its activity against Propionibacterium acne. Benzoyl peroxide comes in cleansing liquid or bar, lotion, cream, and gel for use on the skin.  It usually is used one or two times daily. Start with once daily to see how the skin reacts to this medication. Treatment is usually started with 2.5% or 5% preparations.

It should not be applied on open sores or broken skin. Contact with eyes and mucus membrane should be avoided. It may be used safely during pregnancy consulting with your physician.

2. Azelaic acid

Azelaic acid is in a class of medications called dicarboxylic acids. It works to treat acne by killing the bacteria that infect pores and by decreasing production of keratin, a natural substance that can lead to the development of acne. It is usually used in acute acne vulgaris.

Twice daily application is suggested by the dermatologists with the exception of once daily application in case of sensitive skin. The treatment should not exceed 6 months. Local irritation is the common side effect whereas photosensitization is the rare one. During pregnancy and breast feeding, its use can be cautious.

3. Tretinoin Topical

Tretinoin is an acid form of retinal. Tretinoin is used to treat acne. It promotes peeling of affected skin areas and unclogs pores. Tretinoin controls acne but does not cure it. It is used in the treatment of mild to moderate acne.

Care should be taken to avoid its contact with the eyes, open sores. Concomitant use of other skin preparations for acne containing benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid for warts should be avoided. The side effects are local inflammation, blistering or crusting of skin, itching etc. Use of Tretinoin during pregnancy and breast feeding is contradicted.

4. Clindamycin

Topical clindamycin is used to treat acne. Clindamycin is in a class of medications called lincomycin antibiotics. It works by slowing or stopping the growth of bacteria that cause acne and by decreasing swelling.

Topical clindamycin comes as foam, a gel, a solution (liquid), or a lotion, to apply to the skin. It is usually applied once or twice a day as prescribed by the dermatologist. It is beneficiary to apply topical clindamycin at around the same time(s) every day. Topical clindamycin may cause side effects like dry or peeling skin, itching or burning skin, redness of skin, oily skin, new pimples or blemishes, headache etc.

Different types of Acne

Author Bio

Najneen Ahmed is a pharmacist residing in Bangladesh. She is a regular author of Pharma Mirror Magazine.



[All of the information provided in this article is of authors, does not necessarily represent the official views or policies of the Pharma Mirror Magazine.]. You are also invited to write for Pharma Mirror Magazine.


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