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Acne – treatment, pharmacist advice

Skin problems that appear around the face are a very common disease. Acne, because we are talking about it, can significantly affect the self-esteem of young people. It happens that adolescents lose their self-confidence, avoid contact with peers, and finally close in on themselves. This can lead to many mental problems, including the emergence of depression or anxiety. This unpleasant experience concerns almost 80% of people between 14-20 years of age, and more and more often he stays with us until adulthood.


Acne vulgaris is defined as a disease of the sebaceous glands in which the hair follicles become hyperkeratotic, which makes it difficult to drain off sebum with its increased production. It is associated with the stimulation of the secretion of androgen hormones, as well as disorders in the process of keratinization of the ducts leading to the sebaceous glands. Primary acne lesions are blackheads, followed by papules, pustules and cysts. Acne tendency is found to be genetically inherited, but there are many additional factors. One of them is Propionibacterium acnes, which is crucial in the development of abnormal inflammation.

The factors exacerbating acne include: poor diet, stress, some medications and hormones, in about 70% of women, the intensification of changes occurs in the premenstrual period.

Acne Treatment:

Treatment of dermatosis is a long-term process due to systematic relapses. In some cases, the effects of treatment are visible only after 4-8 weeks and very often, after starting the treatment, the lesions exacerbate. Therefore, the patient should be patient to achieve the intended goal and follow the doctor’s recommendations. Treatments should be started relatively quickly to eliminate the risk of complications in the form of scars or discoloration.

Depending on the form of acne and its severity, topical preparations are used, and in more severe cases, oral treatment is used.

Topical medications:

  • benzoyl peroxide

disinfects P. acnes bacteria by releasing free oxygen atoms,

  • azelaic acid

reduces the number of bacteria in the group sebaceous diseases, I inhibit hyperkeratosis,

  • salicylic acid

keratolytic effect,

  • 1st and 3rd generation retinoids (retinal, tretinoin, isotretinoin, adapalene, tazarotene)

they work comedolytically, i.e. anti-blackhead; cause the removal of the horny-sebaceous masses from blocked skin pores. BEFORE STARTING TREATMENT, EXCLUDE PREGNANCY, BECAUSE RETINOIDS ACT NON-SELECTIVELY CHANGE GENE EXPRESSION,

  • antibiotics (clindamycin, erythromycin)

In order to increase the effectiveness of the treatment, combined treatment with the above-mentioned preparations is used.

Oral Treatment:
  • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
  • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
  • Vitamin PP (nicotinamide)
  • Antibiotics: macrolides (erythromycin, azithromycin), tetracyclines (limecycline, doxycycline, minocycline)
  • Hormones (cyproterone acetate, flutamide, progesterone) the goal of treatment is to inhibit the excessive activity of male androgen hormones, which are responsible for the production of sebum.
  • Isotretinoin, when used when antibiotic therapy has failed, has anti-inflammatory, anti-seborrhoeic and anti-comedogenic effects.

Pharmacist advice

  • Zinc paste
  • Clay pulp
  • Violet herb tea / pansy herb
  • Decoction compresses; chamomile flower, marigold flower and willow bark mixed in equal amounts
  • Use a cucumber-based tonic
  • In the case of mild acne, the use of OTC preparations containing in their composition: benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, sulfur and azelaic acid, e.g. benzacne, akneroxid,

Every young person in the adolescence period wants to enjoy a healthy-looking skin, so the first symptoms of acne should not be ignored, as this may leave permanent scars on the skin. Visible changes may have a negative impact on the mental state of patients, therefore it is extremely important to choose an effective treatment of skin lesions at the earliest possible stage.


Mutschler, G. Geisslinger, H. K. Kroemer, P. Ruth, Mutschler Pharmacology and Toxicology.
Run, Common acne and its treatment, Aesthetic Cosmetology.

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