First, a preface on the 4 causes of acne formation:
- plugging of the hair follicle/oil gland unit (hyperkeratinization of pilosebaceous follicles)
- increase in testosterone causing increased waxy/oil production (hyperseborrhea)
- bacteria colonizing the follicle/gland unit (P. acnes)
Topical retinoids (vitamin A derivatives) help with the first cause of acne – hyperkeratinization/plugging – which affects white & black heads (closed & open comedones). Unfortunately, it does not clear inflammatory, cystic and pustular acne which means it should be used in combination for any form of acne other than simple white and black heads. More on topical & systemic antibiotics and oral isotretinoin (Accutane®, Claravis®) in future posts.
[ Article Appears Courtesy of Amanda Iverson Tschetter, MD / SKINmission ]