[Effective and safe pharmacotherapy of acne vulgaris and treatment of sun-damaged skin]

Ceska Slov Farm. 2000 Mar;49(2):62-7.
[Article in Czech]


An inevitable condition for the pharmacist is a basic knowledge of dermatological changes which are prominent in acne and solar impairment of the skin to be able to recommend in a qualified manner an effective and safe treatment to the patient. However, sufferers of the more serious forms of acne should always be referred to their general practitioner, or preferentially a dermatologist. Acne vulgaris is an androgen-induced disorder, but three major mechanisms for the development of the disease have been identified: hypertrophy of the sebaceous gland, hyperkatosis of the follicular epithelium, and proliferation of microbial flora, particularly Propionibacterium acnes. The basis of all lesions is the microcomedone which is developed into the ripe comedone. Inflammatory lesions are thought to be due to proliferation of P. acnes. In the selfmedication of common acne, benzoyl peroxide, which in a 5-10% lotion exerts antimicrobial and keratolytic properties, proved to be useful. Patients appreciate a lot its instant effect which is visible after just one day of treatment. Salicylic acid is another effective drug, which, when used on the long-term basis, has comedolytic properties; it reduces the number of microcomedones and counteracts plugging of the follicles. In addition, in healthy young women who take oral contraception, a triphasic combined oral preparations of contraceptives with newer progestins, notably with norgestimmate, which is practically free of androgenic effects, are recommended with advantage for the treatment of moderate acne vulgaris without any adverse effects. Solar impairment of the skin, the so-called solar ageing, is clinically indistinguishable from biological ageing. Changes connected with solar impairment appear mostly in the dermis, where solar elastosis develops, the skin gets drier and wrinkle formation appears. For the treatment, hydroxy acids are recommended, namely salicylic acid, which is very effective, because in combination with a suitable vehicle it produces desquamation or exfoliation. Desquamation is beneficial as it gives a youthful appearance to the skin.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / drug therapy*
  • Dermatologic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Skin Aging*


  • Dermatologic Agents