Which medications in the drug class Acne Agents, Topical are used in the treatment of Acneiform Eruptions?

Updated: Jul 29, 2019
  • Author: Julianne H Kuflik, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Acne Agents, Topical

Acne products are used for the treatment of mild to moderate acne vulgaris. These agents may have antibacterial and comedolytic properties. In severe cases, the agents may be used as an adjunct in therapeutic regimens.

Salicylic acid acne (Benzac Blemish Clearing Hydrator 0.5%, Benzac Intensive Spot Treatment 2%, Benzac Skin Balancing Foaming Cleanser 0.5%)

Salicylic acid is a comedolytic agent. It inhibits the formation of comedones resulting from oil and skin cells that become trapped in the pore. Its lipophilic characteristics facilitate the peeling of the exterior layer of the dermis and opens follicles that are plugged. This leads skin cells to renew their cell cycle of proliferation and differentiation. Salicylic acid can interfere with the arachidonic acid cascade of the inflammatory process. This action results in the reduction of inflammatory acne lesions.

Benzoyl peroxide (BenzEFoam, PanOxyl, Neutrogena On The Spot, Invisible Acne Treatment)

Benzoyl peroxide is an oxidizing agent that possesses antibacterial properties and is comedolytic. The antibacterial activity results from the release of active or free-radical oxygen that can oxidize bacterial proteins. Benzoyl peroxide is oxidized into benzoic acid with contact to the skin. It is available OTC and by prescription.

Azelaic acid (Azelex, Finacea)

Azelaic acid has been shown to help reduce inflammation and may aid in treatment of postinflammatory hyperpigmentation. Apply it twice daily. Improvement may be seen within 4 weeks.

Erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide (Benzamycin)

This agent contains erythromycin, which is a macrolide antibiotic, as well as benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide, in addition to being an antibacterial agent, is a keratolytic and desquamative agent. With benzoyl peroxide, free-radical oxygen is released upon administration, oxidizing bacterial proteins in sebaceous follicles and decreasing the number of anaerobic, bacterial, and irritating free fatty acids. It has keratolytic and comedolytic effects.

Erythromycin is indicated for infections caused by susceptible strains of microorganisms.

The combination drug may be applied topically twice daily.

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