Acne and its management

  • L Brown B Square Synergy Consultants
Keywords: acne, acne vulgaris, azelaic acid, benzoyl peroxide, clindamycin, contraceptives, erythromycin, isotretinoin, oral, spironolactone, retinoids, teratogenicity, tetracycline


Acne vulgaris is quite common during adolescence but also occurs in children, adults and pregnant women. It is a condition in which androgens are produced during puberty and induce hypertrophy of the sebaceous glands and the excess secretory rate in predisposed individuals, triggers acne. Sebum promotes the growth of a resident anaerobic bacterium on the skin, Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes). Acne affects areas of the skin with large numbers of sebaceous glands. Treatment of acne can be done topically with retinoids, azelaic acid, benzoyl peroxide or topical antibacterials or systemically with oral antibacterials, hormonal therapies or isotretinoin. The pharmacist plays a particularly important role in educating patients about correct skin care products and medications used to treat acne, especially in women of child-bearing age.