The Potential Uses of N-acetylcysteine in Dermatology: A Review

J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2019 May;12(5):20-26. Epub 2019 May 1.


Background: In recent studies, N-acetylcysteine has been shown to be efficacious in several dermatologic conditions. Objective: The aim was to review clinical trials that assess the efficacy of N-acetylcysteine in cutaneous disorders. Design: The PubMed database was searched and a manual search of clinical trials in the references was performed. Studies included randomized, controlled studies, uncontrolled studies, meta-analyses, and systemic reviews published between years 1966 and 2017. Results: Efficacy of N-acetylcysteine was shown in excoriation disorder, onychophagia disorder, trichotillomania, acne vulgaris, Type I lamellar ichthyosis, bullous morphea, systemic sclerosis, toxic epidermal necrolysis, atopic dermatitis, xeroderma pigmentosum, and pseudoporphyria. Studies also show benefits in wound healing and photoprotection. Conclusion: The review of available literature suggests that N-acetylcysteine could potentially serve as a safe, tolerable, and effective therapeutic option for a variety of dermatologic conditions.

Keywords: N-acetylcysteine; dermatological disorder; intravenous therapy; oral therapy; pharmacology; topical therapy.

Publication types

  • Review