Acne Treatment – The Pharmocological Route
Acne can be divided into various grades depending on the severity and types of lesions with Grade I being the mild one and Grade IV being the severe one that may lead to scarring and disfiguration.
Acne vulgaris can be a debilitating disease and can cause severe psychological stress and isolation from the peer group.
The different grades of acne are:
Grade I – Comedones (blackheads or whiteheads)
Grade II – Red colour eruptions also known as papules
Grade III – Pustules or lesions filled with pus or yellow serum like fluid
Grade IV – Nodulocystic or lesions with depth
There are infinite acne treatment modalities available both doctor prescribed as well as over the counter. The line of treatment also differs depending on the grade of acne. The treatment of acne can be divided into topicals and oral medications.
TOPICALS. These are creams and ointments used for surface application over the acne lesions. The various cream options available are:
Medicated Facewash – Cleanse twice daily with a 5% benzoyl peroxide wash. An alternative for those who are allergic to benzoyl peroxide is 2% salicylic acid.
Clindamycin phosphate – It is an antibiotic gel useful in resolution of acne lesions by reducing the P.Acnes bacterial population
Benzoyl Peroxide – It is again an antibiotic gel available in two concentrations: 2.5% and 5%. The mechanism of action is the same as clindamycin phosphate.
Salicylic Acid – It is a mild keratolytic agent and causes reduction in the size of sebaceous gland and hence reduces the severity of acne lesions.
Nicotinamide – It is an antibiotic gel that reduces the bacterial population as well as the size of involved sebaceous gland.