Ciclopirox gel for acne

Contents

Ciclopirox Gel

Dosage Form: gel

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Dec 23, 2019.

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FOR DERMATOLOGIC USE ONLY.

NOT FOR USE IN EYES.

Rx Only

Ciclopirox Gel Description

Ciclopirox Gel 0.77% contains a synthetic antifungal agent, ciclopirox USP. It is intended for topical dermatologic use only.

Each gram of Ciclopirox Gel contains 7.70 mg of ciclopirox USP in a gel consisting of carbomer homopolymer, isopropyl alcohol, and medium chain triglycerides, sodium hydroxide, sodium lauryl sulfate, and purified water.

Ciclopirox Gel is a white, slightly fluid gel.

The chemical name for ciclopirox USP is 6-cyclohexyl-1-hydroxy-4-methyl-2(1H)-pyridinone, with the empirical formula C12H17NO2 and a molecular weight of 207.27. The CAS Registry Number is . The chemical structure is:

CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY

Mechanism of Action

Ciclopirox is a hydroxypyridone antifungal agent although the relevance of this property for the indication of seborrheic dermatitis is not known. Ciclopirox acts by chelation of polyvalent cations (Fe3+ or Al3+), resulting in the inhibition of the metal-dependent enzymes that are responsible for the degradation of peroxides within the fungal cell.

Pharmacokinetics

A comparative study of the pharmacokinetics of Ciclopirox Gel and ciclopirox cream (ciclopirox olamine) 0.77% in 18 healthy males indicated that systemic absorption of ciclopirox from Ciclopirox Gel was higher than that of ciclopirox cream. A 5 gm dose of Ciclopirox Gel produced a mean (±SD) peak serum concentration of 25.02 (±20.6) ng/mL total ciclopirox and 5 gm of ciclopirox cream produced 18.62 (±13.56) ng/mL total ciclopirox. Approximately 3% of the applied ciclopirox was excreted in the urine within 48 hours after application, with a renal elimination half-life of about 5.5 hours.

In a study of Ciclopirox Gel, 16 men with moderate to severe tinea cruris applied approximately 15 grams/day of the gel for 14.5 days. The mean (±SD) dose- normalized values of Cmax for total ciclopirox in serum were 100 (±42) ng/mL on Day 1 and 238 (±144) ng/mL on Day 15. During the 10 hours after dosing on Day 1, approximately 10% of the administered dose was excreted in the urine.

Microbiology

Ciclopirox is a hydroxypyridinone antifungal agent that inhibits the growth of pathogenic dermatophytes. Ciclopirox has been shown to be active against most strains of the following microorganisms both in vitro and in clinical infections as described in the INDICATIONS AND USAGE section:

Trichophyton rubrum, Trichophyton mentagrophytes, and Epidermophyton floccosum

INDICATIONS AND USAGE

Superficial Dermatophyte Infections

Ciclopirox Gel is indicated for the topical treatment of interdigital tinea pedis and tinea corporis due to Trichophyton rubrum, Trichophyton mentagrophytes, or Epidermophyton floccosum.

Seborrheic Dermatitis

Ciclopirox Gel is indicated for the topical treatment of seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

Ciclopirox Gel is contraindicated in individuals who have shown hypersensitivity to any of its components.

WARNINGS

Ciclopirox Gel is not for ophthalmic, oral, or intravaginal use.

Keep out of reach of children.

PRECAUTIONS

If a reaction suggesting sensitivity or chemical irritation should occur with the use of Ciclopirox Gel, treatment should be discontinued and appropriate therapy instituted. A transient burning sensation may occur, especially after application to sensitive areas. Avoid contact with eyes. Efficacy of Ciclopirox Gel in immunosuppressed individuals has not been studied. Seborrheic dermatitis in association with acne, atopic dermatitis, Parkinsonism, psoriasis and rosacea has not been studied with Ciclopirox Gel. Efficacy in the treatment of plantar and vesicular types of tinea pedis has not been established.

Information for Patients

The patient should be told the following:

1. Use Ciclopirox Gel as directed by the physician. Avoid contact with the eyes and mucous membranes. Ciclopirox Gel is for external use only. 2. Use the medication for fungal infections for the full treatment time even though symptoms may have improved, and notify the physician if there is no improvement after 4 weeks. 3. A transient burning/stinging sensation may be felt. This may occur in approximately 15% to 20% of cases, when Ciclopirox Gel is used to treat seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp. 4. Inform the physician if the area of application shows signs of increased irritation or possible sensitization (redness with itching, burning, blistering, swelling, and/or oozing). 5. Avoid the use of occlusive dressings. 6. Do not use this medication for any disorder other than that for which it is prescribed.

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

A 104-week dermal carcinogenicity study in mice was conducted with ciclopirox cream formulation applied at doses up to 1.93% (100 mg/kg/day or 300 mg/m2/day). No increase in drug related neopalsms was noted when compared to control.

The following in vitro genotoxicity tests have been conducted with ciclopirox: evaluation of gene mutation in the Ames Salmonella and E. coli assays (negative); chromosome aberration assays in V79 Chinese hamster lung fibroblast cells, with and without metabolic activation (positive); chromosome aberration assays in V79 Chinese hamster lung fibroblast cells in the presence of supplemental Fe3+, with and without metabolic activation (negative); gene mutation assays in the HGPRT-test with V79 Chinese hamster lung fibroblast cells (negative); and a primary DNA damage assay (i.e., unscheduled DNA synthesis assay in A549 human cells) (negative). An in vitro cell transformation assay in BALB/c 3T3 cells was negative for cell transformation. In an in vivo Chinese hamster bone marrow cytogenetic assay, ciclopirox was negative for chromosome aberrations at a dosage of 5000 mg/kg body weight.

A combined oral fertility and embryofetal developmental study was conducted in rats with ciclopirox olamine. No effect on fertility or reproductive performance was noted at the highest dose tested of 3.85 mg/kg/day ciclopirox (approximately 1.2 times the maximum recommended human dose based on body surface area comparisons).

Pregnancy

Teratogenic effects: Pregnancy Category B

There are no adequate or well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Therefore, Ciclopirox Gel should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Oral embryofetal developmental studies were conducted in mice, rats, rabbits and monkeys. Ciclopirox or ciclopirox olamine was orally administered during the period of organogenesis. No maternal toxicity, embryotoxicity or teratogenicity were noted at the highest doses of 77, 125, 80 and 38.5 mg/kg/day ciclopirox in mice, rats, rabbits and monkeys, respectively (approximately 11, 37, 51 and 24 times the maximum recommended human dose based on body surface area comparisons, respectively).

Dermal embryofetal developmental studies were conducted in rats and rabbits with ciclopirox olamine dissolved in PEG 400. Ciclopirox olamine was topically administered during the period of organogenesis. No maternal toxicity, embryotoxicity or teratogenicity were noted at the highest doses of 92 mg/kg/day and 77 mg/kg/day ciclopirox in rats and rabbits, respectively (approximately 27 and 49 times the maximum recommended human dose based on body surface area comparisons, respectively).

Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether this drug is excreted in human milk. Since many drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when Ciclopirox Gel is administered to a nursing woman.

Pediatric Use

The efficacy and safety of Ciclopirox Gel in pediatric patients below the age of 16 years have not been established.

Adverse Reactions

In clinical trials, 140 (39%) of 359 subjects treated with Ciclopirox Gel reported adverse experiences, irrespective of relationship to test materials, which resulted in 8 subjects discontinuing treatment. The most frequent experience reported was skin burning sensation upon application, which occurred in approximately 34% of seborrheic dermatitis patients and 7% of tinea pedis patients. Adverse experiences occurring between 1% to 5% were contact dermatitis and pruritus. Other reactions that occurred in less than 1% included dry skin, acne, rash, alopecia, pain upon application, eye pain, and facial edema.

DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

Superficial Dermatophyte Infections

Gently massage Ciclopirox Gel into the affected areas and surrounding skin twice daily, in the morning and evening immediately after cleaning or washing the areas to be treated. Interdigital tinea pedis and tinea corporis should be treated for 4 weeks. If a patient shows no clinical improvement after 4 weeks of treatment, the diagnosis should be reviewed.

Seborrheic Dermatitis of the Scalp

Apply Ciclopirox Gel to affected scalp areas twice daily, in the morning and evening for 4 weeks. Clinical improvement usually occurs within the first week with continuing resolution of signs and symptoms through the fourth week of treatment. If a patient shows no clinical improvement after 4 weeks of treatment, the diagnosis should be reviewed.

HOW SUPPLIED

Ciclopirox Gel 0.77% is supplied in aluminium tubes and LDPE tubes.

30 g tubes (NDC 68462-455-35), 45 g tubes (NDC 68462-455-47) and 100 g tubes (NDC 68462-455-94).

Store at 20 to 25°C (68 to 77°F) .

Manufactured by:

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Limited

Colvale-Bardez, Goa 403 513, India

Manufactured for:

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Inc., USA

Mahwah, NJ 07430

Questions? 1 (888)721-7115

January 2017

PACKAGE/LABEL DISPLAY PANEL

CICLOPIROX
Ciclopirox Gel
Product Information
Product Type HUMAN PRESCRIPTION DRUG LABEL Item Code (Source) NDC:68462-455
Route of Administration TOPICAL DEA Schedule
Active Ingredient/Active Moiety
Ingredient Name Basis of Strength Strength
CICLOPIROX (CICLOPIROX) CICLOPIROX 7.7 mg in 1 g
Inactive Ingredients
Ingredient Name Strength
CARBOMER HOMOPOLYMER TYPE C (ALLYL PENTAERYTHRITOL CROSSLINKED)
ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL
MEDIUM-CHAIN TRIGLYCERIDES
SODIUM HYDROXIDE
SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE
WATER
Packaging
# Item Code Package Description
1 NDC:68462-455-35 30 g in 1 TUBE
2 NDC:68462-455-47 45 g in 1 TUBE
3 NDC:68462-455-94 100 g in 1 TUBE
Marketing Information
Marketing Category Application Number or Monograph Citation Marketing Start Date Marketing End Date
ANDA ANDA091595 02/29/2012

Labeler – Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Inc., USA (130597813)

Establishment
Name Address ID/FEI Operations
Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Limited 677318665 MANUFACTURE(68462-455), ANALYSIS(68462-455)

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Inc., USA

Medical Disclaimer

More about ciclopirox topical

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  • Drug class: topical antifungals

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Professional resources

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I may be a twenty-something, but there’s no shame in my game when it concerns stealing skin care tips from teenagers. Maddie Ziegler, the tiny dancer spotted in a slew of Sia videos, has morphed into quite the beauty queen since her days on “Dance Moms” and has the skin care routine to prove it.

MORE: The Winter-Proof Face Masks That Deliver Intense Hydration

This month, the 15-year-old shared a refreshingly down to earth nighttime regimen that includes plenty of drugstore faves, like Neutrogena wipes and Garnier micellar water for makeup removal. And if you can’t schedule an appointment with a dermatologist, she highly recommends Cetaphil since “it’s gentle and light and doesn’t have a fragrance.”

“I feel like anything that has a scent has a little bit of chemicals that tends to make my skin break out,” she said.

And because she’s prone to acne like most teenagers (and adults, to be honest), she also swears by Ciclopirox Gel, which you can buy over-the-counter in some drugstores. It’s not as popular as Differin or ProActiv, but the antifungal medication is proven to diminish breakouts, in addition to a handful of other skin conditions like ringworm, athlete’s foot and even yeast infections.

MORE: The $3 Brow Kit Madelaine Petsch Swears By

Plus, the price tag won’t completely empty your budget. Just when we thought we knew everything about the drugstore beauty section, Maddie drops this bomb on us! Get into more of her skin care finds, including some pricey, but effective moisturizers, by watching the full product haul (above).

Loprox

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

Last reviewed on RxList 9/4/2019

Loprox Gel (ciclopirox) is an antifungal medication used to treat skin infections such as athlete’s foot, jock itch, ringworm, and yeast infections. Loprox shampoo is used to treat seborrheic dermatitis (inflammatory skin condition) of the scalp, and the topical nail lacquer is used to treat fungal infections of the toenails and fingernails. Loprox Gel is available in generic form. Common side effects of Loprox Gel include:

Gently massage a dose of Loprox Gel into the affected areas and surrounding skin twice daily, in the morning and evening immediately after cleaning or washing the areas to be treated. Interdigital tinea pedis and tinea corporis should be treated for 4 weeks. Loprox Gel may interact with other topical products used at the same time. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. During pregnancy, Loprox Gel should be used only when prescribed. It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Our Loprox Gel (ciclopirox) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Top 10 Topical Medicinal Creams To Treat Your Pimples Meenal Rajapet Hyderabd040-395603080 January 8, 2020

Acne is the worst. You don’t know when a breakout is going to hit the surface, but it almost always happens right before you have an important social event coming up. The factors leading to this skin nuisance are many, and they may be both internal and external. Most of the time, oily skin seems to be the culprit. When excess sebum (the skin’s natural oil) is produced on your skin, it clogs your pores and causes acne. Environmental pollution can also be equally responsible.

This is when the hundreds of anti-pimple products available on the market seem like your saving grace. But from so many options to choose from, picking the right one appears to be next to impossible.

That’s why I’ve put together this list of the top 10 topical treatments for acne.

Products Check Price
Glyco 6 Glycolic Acid Cream Check Price
Avene Triacneal Check Price
Neutrogena On-The-Spot Acne Treatment Check Price
Clearasil Ultra Rapid Action Vanishing Acne Treatment Gel Check Price
Himalaya Herbals Acne-N-Pimple Cream Check Price
Vicco Turmeric WSO Skin Cream Check Price
Nomarks Acne Pimple Cream Check Price
Oriflame Pure Skin Spot SOS Gel Check Price
Jovees Neem & Long Pepper Anti Acne & Pimple Cream Check Price

Top 10 Medicines For Pimples

1. Retino-A Tretinoin Cream

As one of the most popularly prescribed acne creams by dermatologists, Tretinoin is the best treatment for pimples available on the market. It is a prescription-only product and is available in 2 concentrations – 0.025% and 0.05%. The cream not only suppresses un-popped zits, but also smoothes out the skin’s texture. In addition, tretinoin reduces the scarring caused by the collagen loss that takes place while pimples heal. The Retino-A formula is one of the most commonly used tretinoin solution.

Back To TOC

2. Glyco 6 Glycolic Acid Cream

Glyco-6 contains 6% of glycolic acid, the ingredient present in glycolic peels that are prescribed by dermatologists for skin lightening and scar reduction. It is one of the few products in India that contain this ingredient. While the concentration of glycolic acid is small, it is enough to even out your skin tone and reduce the visibility of scars when used over a few weeks. The cream helps exfoliate the dead skin cells from the surface of the skin and speeds up the scar fading process. It also helps prevent future breakouts.

Back To TOC

3. Avene Triacneal

Avene Triacneal treatment is an ideal alternative to Retino-A as it contains retinaldehyde, as well as glycolic acid. The retinaldehyde in its formula equips the product with anti-aging benefits as it treats acne and prevents future breakouts. Unlike Retino-A, this is not a prescription drug and can be purchased from your local drugstore as well as online stores. It effectively evens out your complexion by helping in the fading of scars and reducing the appearance of dark spots.

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4. Neutrogena On-The-Spot Acne Treatment

Neutrogena’s On-The-Spot Acne Treatment is a benzoyl peroxide gel-cream that promises fast results. The use of this product can control breakouts and show vast improvement in redness within two days. While some benzoyl peroxide treatments can dry out and irritate your skin, this one is mild on the skin. The On-The-Spot Treatment is perfectly suitable for women with oily and sensitive skin. It is easily absorbed, and so can be applied at night as well as during daytime.

Back To TOC

5. Clearasil Ultra Rapid Action Vanishing Acne Treatment Cream

Clearasil’s Ultra Rapid Action Vanishing Acne Treatment Cream is another product that uses benzoyl peroxide as its main component. However, the formula is extremely concentrated. Therefore, the cream should be used only if less concentrated products have not been effective. This over-the-counter topical disinfectant also contains gluconolactone, which is an exfoliant that helps keep the skin healthy and oil-free.

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6. Himalaya Herbals Acne-N-Pimple Cream

This mild cream helps dry out pimples, speeding up the healing process. The cream has a thick consistency and is ideal for night-time use. It also reduces and controls redness. The formula comprises natural ingredients and is safe for all skin types. This cream is gentle and perfect for everyday use. While the cream might not work miracles for acne-prone skin, it is great for treating mild breakouts.

Back To TOC

7. Vicco Turmeric WSO Skin Cream

The Vicco Turmeric WSO Skin Cream is an anti-pimple remedy that hit the market a long time ago. The formula is 100% natural with ayurvedic ingredients. 16% of the product is made of turmeric, an age-old effective treatment for chronic pimples and acne. The cream is also adept at removing acne scars while giving you clear skin.

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8. Nomarks Acne Pimple Cream

Nomarks cream contains lemon, licorice, clove, and other natural ingredients that effectively control acne while being gentle on your skin. The cream has a thick consistency that takes a bit of massaging to be absorbed by the skin. However, it is not greasy and can be used by women with oily skin as well. The presence of camphor in this product has a cooling effect on your skin while it heals pimples and speeds up scar fading.

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9. Oriflame Pure Skin Spot SOS Gel

Oriflame’s Pure Skin Spot SOS Deep Action Gel claims to target and start the healing process of pimples within 8 hours. The transparent gel is topically applied onto the affected areas, once the gel dries it easily peels off. It also reduces dark spots when it is used over a couple of weeks and the product keeps a breakout from spreading.

Back To TOC

10. Jovees Ayurveda Neem & Long Pepper Anti Acne And Pimple Cream

Here’s another herbal product available in the India market that treats acne. Jovees’ Anti Acne And Pimple Cream contains long pepper, neem, red sandalwood, and other herbal extracts that control and clear a breakout and prevent future episodes. Since the cream has a thick consistency, it is more suited for women with dry skin.

Back To TOC

We all know that acne sucks, but dealing with it can be made much easier with the use of these products. Try these topical medicine for pimples and flaunt acne-free skin every day.

*Prices may vary

*Subject to Availability

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Meenal Rajapet

Top 10 Acne/Pimples Creams Available In India That Actually Work

Acne breakout hitting your face surface is worst. And a breakout is especially the worst surprise just before your any coming up special event. There are many factors causing this skin nuisance both internal & external. In addition to the oily skin being the main cause of this, there are other things like excess sebum, clogged pores, sinful eating, environmental pollution, stress, hormonal imbalance, illness, medication, pregnancy, can cause acne. There are numerous anti-pimple products in India, but choosing the right one for you can be a bit difficult task. Thus, below is the list of the 10 best acne creams in India that actually works!

Top 10 Acne/Pimples Creams Available In India That Actually Work

1. Glyco 6 Cream

This topical pimples cream has glycolic Acid – 6% that helps in skin lightening and reduce acne scars. Glycolic Acid is often recommended by dermatologists reduce pigmentation, even skin tone, and skin exfoliation. In addition, this is the top common used tretinoin solution throughout the world and top selling topical pimple treatment cream.

Price of Glycolic Acid Cream/Glyco 6 Cream Rs.170 for 30g

2. Sebamed Clear Face Care Gel Ph5.5

This face gel suits all types of acne-prone skin and contains Panthenol which helps in healing of acne lesions. This also contains ingredients that soothe irritated pimple skin and reduces acne bacteria.

Price of Sebamed Clear Face Care Gel Ph5.5 Rs.460 for 50ml

3. Retino-A Tretinoin Cream

This is the best selling pimple cream that is also called Tretinoin. They are available in two concentrations 0. 05% & 0.025%. This cream initially forms the acne mouth or outlet that causes smooth acne death. With regular use, this also helps to reduce acne scars by Collagen.

Price of Retino-A Tretinoin Cream Rs.169 for 20gm

4. Benzac-AC gel

Benzac-AC gel (Galderma) is the most popular pimple cream in India. Its fights acne bacteria, but can cause skin irritation and dry due to the higher concentrations of benzoyl peroxide. This topical cream is effective to reduce bacteria by 94% just within 48 hours on starting treatment. It is water based and best for mild to moderate acne to absorbs skin excess oil, kills bacteria and does not excessively dry skin.

READ: The Best Acne-Fighting Ingredients You Should Know About

Price of Benzac AC gel 5% is Rs. 74 for 60gm

5. Garnier Pure Active Pimple Relief Roll On

Salicylic acid pimple creams are well known for Pimple Clearing. Garnier Pure Active Pimple Relief Roll On is popular acne cream that contains 2% salicylic acid. This helps in bringing cystic acne to a head, create pus & then a skin pit hole. This has just the right amount of salicylic acid as more the amount tends to darken the skin causing dark acne marks. Plus this product also works best for teenage pimples and blackheads.

Price of Garnier Pure Active Pimple Relief Roll On Rs. 199 for 10mL

6. Clincitop Gel For Acne

Clincitop gel contains clindamycin that helps to treat acne, pimple redness & inflammation. With regular usage of few weeks, it gives visible results to get rid of pimple.

Price of Clincitop Gel For Acne Rs.55 for 20gm

7. Avene Triacneal Cream

This Treatment Care for Acne-Prone Skin is a best to heal acne and also for new acne breakouts prevention. This newer formula of Avene Diacneal is worth the price for its effectiveness. It contains retinoid and glycolic acid with a very gentle base. this powerful anti acne treatment also helps in healing dark spots and acne scars.

Price of Avene Triacneal Cream is Rs. 1600 for 30 ml

8. Himalaya Herbals Acne-n-Pimple Cream

If you are a nature lover and looking for Herbal pimple creams, this one is just for you. It dries and fastens the pimples and acne healing process. This thick cream for acne can be used daily, especially if you have oil prone skin. this has No side effects and is an On-The-Spot pimple Treatment for oily and sensitive skin women.

READ: Himalaya Pure Skin Neem Facial Kit with Face Massager: Review & How to use

Price of Himalaya Herbals Acne-n-Pimple Cream is Rs.150 for 20g

9. WOW Acne DEEP IMPACT TREATMENT KIT – STEP 1-2-3 – Acne Spot Therapy

This is a complete acne skin care kit with three steps. It contains Wow acne foaming facial cleanser, WOW exfoliating gel and WOW acne hydrating serum. This product help to reduce pimples, brighten skin and moisturizes the skin. it helps in faster and better healing of acne in a natural way.

Price of WOW Acne DEEP IMPACT TREATMENT KIT – STEP 1-2-3 – Acne Spot Therapy is Rs.2000

10. Garnier Men Acno Fight Whitening Day Cream

This is a very popular Pimple Clearing and Whitening Cream for men available in India. This works really well on men’s with oily and acne prone skin. it effectively helps to cure acne and makes the skin even tone with regular use.

Price of Garnier Men Acno Fight Whitening Day Cream is Rs.165 for 45gm

Which one is your favorite among Top 10 Acne/Pimples Creams Available In India That Actually Work! Do Share your thoughts with us!!

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Momspresso.com. Any omissions or errors are the author’s and Momspresso does not assume any liability or responsibility for them.

Treatment


Acne

Topical treatments (gels, creams and lotions)

Benzoyl peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide works as an antiseptic to reduce the number of bacteria on the surface of the skin.

It also helps to reduce the number of whiteheads and blackheads, and has an anti-inflammatory effect.

Benzoyl peroxide is usually available as a cream or gel. It’s used either once or twice a day.

It should be applied 20 minutes after washing to all of the parts of your face affected by acne.

It should be used sparingly, as too much can irritate your skin.

It also makes your face more sensitive to sunlight, so avoid too much sun and sources of ultraviolet (UV) light (such as sunbeds), or wear sun cream.

Benzoyl peroxide can have a bleaching effect, so avoid getting it on your hair or clothes.

Common side effects of benzoyl peroxide include:

  • dry and tense skin
  • a burning, itching or stinging sensation
  • some redness and peeling of the skin

Side effects are usually mild and should pass once the treatment has finished.

Most people need a 6-week course of treatment to clear most or all of their acne.

You may be advised to continue treatment less frequently to prevent acne returning.

Topical retinoids

Topical retinoids work by removing dead skin cells from the surface of the skin (exfoliating), which helps prevent them building up within hair follicles.

Tretinoin and adapalene are topical retinoids used to treat acne. They’re available in a gel or cream and are usually applied once a day before you go to bed.

Apply to all the parts of your face affected by acne 20 minutes after washing your face.

It’s important to apply topical retinoids sparingly and avoid excessive exposure to sunlight and UV.

Topical retinoids are not suitable for use during pregnancy, as there’s a risk they might cause birth defects.

The most common side effects of topical retinoids are mild irritation and stinging of the skin.

A 6-week course is usually required, but you may be advised to continue using the medicine less frequently after this.

Topical antibiotics

Topical antibiotics help kill the bacteria on the skin that can infect plugged hair follicles. They’re available as a lotion or gel that’s applied once or twice a day.

A 6- to 8-week course is usually recommended. After this, treatment is usually stopped, as there’s a risk that the bacteria on your face could become resistant to the antibiotics.

This could make your acne worse and cause additional infections.

Side effects are uncommon, but can include:

  • minor irritation of the skin
  • redness and burning of the skin
  • peeling of the skin

Azelaic acid

Azelaic acid is often used as an alternative treatment for acne if the side effects of benzoyl peroxide or topical retinoids are particularly irritating or painful.

Azelaic acid works by getting rid of dead skin and killing bacteria.

It’s available as a cream or gel and is usually applied twice a day (or once a day if your skin is particularly sensitive).

The medicine does not make your skin sensitive to sunlight, so you do not have to avoid exposure to the sun.

You’ll usually need to use azelaic acid for a month before your acne improves.

The side effects of azelaic acid are usually mild and include:

  • burning or stinging skin
  • itchiness
  • dry skin
  • redness of the skin

Does Neosporin Treat Pimples and Acne Scars?

Neosporin is one of many triple antibiotic ointments or gels that contain polymyxin, bacitracin, and neomycin to fight infections. It seems logical to assume it could kill the bacteria that causes acne as well, but this will not usually be the case.

At any given moment, there’s a small possibility that a pimple might have been caused by a type of bacteria that Neosporin is designed to kill. In those rare cases, Neosporin would fight the cause and likely heal the acne. However, the vast majority of the time acne is caused by Propionibacterium acnes, a particular type of bacteria that Neosporin does not tackle.

Efficacy of Neosporin for pimples, cystic acne, and acne scars

Neosporin does not kill the most common acne-causing bacteria, so it won’t typically be effective at fighting pimples or cystic acne. Because it has many moisturizing, skin-healing oils in its ingredients, Neosporin may temporarily tame irritation and also heal areas of damaged, broken skin. This might give the impression that it is treating the acne, when in fact it’s simply healing some of the damage done by that acne.

The skin-soothing moisturizers in Neosporin, including cocoa butter, cottonseed oil, olive oil, and vitamin E, might very well soften acne scars too, but there are far more effective ways to accomplish all of these skin goals without using an antibacterial. You will almost certainly be able to find these ingredients in products that are less expensive and less potentially harmful than Neosporin could be.

There is one scenario where Neosporin should be applied to breakouts, including pimples or cystic acne, and that is when the acne becomes infected. This can happen when you pop a pimple or it ulcerates and bleeds, then comes in contact with bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus. Healthy skin usually fights off these bacteria, but an open wound provides the perfect opportunity for entry into your body.

Neosporin also contains petroleum jelly, which creates a healing environment and protective barrier, warding off additional bacteria.

Infection is most likely the only reason to use Neosporin for acne.

Treatment

Treatment for acne depends on how severe it is. It can take several months of treatment before acne symptoms improve.

If you have a few blackheads, whiteheads and spots, a pharmacist should be able to tell you on how to treat them.

They’ll usually give you gels or creams (topical treatments) that contain benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide helps reduce the amount of acne-causing bacteria.

Treatments from your GP

Talk to your GP if your acne is moderate or severe, or over-the-counter medicine hasn’t worked. You will probably need prescription medication.

Prescription medications that can be used to treat acne include:

  • topical retinoids
  • topical antibiotics
  • azelaic acid
  • antibiotic tablets
  • in women, the combined oral contraceptive pill
  • isotretinoin tablets

If you have severe acne, your GP can refer you to an expert in treating skin conditions (dermatologist).

For example, if you have:

  • a large number of papules and pustules on your chest and back, as well as your face
  • painful nodules
  • scarring, or are at risk of scarring

A combination of antibiotic tablets and topical treatments is usually the treatment option for severe acne.

If this doesn’t work, your GP may prescribe a medication called isotretinoin.

Hormonal therapies or the combined oral contraceptive pill can also be effective in women who have acne.

But the progestogen-only pill or contraceptive implant can sometimes make acne worse.

Many of these treatments can take 2 to 3 months before they start to work.

It’s important to be patient and persist with a recommended treatment, even if there’s no immediate effect.

Topical treatments

Benzoyl peroxide works as an antiseptic to reduce the number of bacteria on the surface of the skin.

It also helps to reduce the number of whiteheads and blackheads. It has an anti-inflammatory effect.

Benzoyl peroxide is usually available as a cream or gel. It’s used either once or twice a day.

It should be applied 20 minutes after washing to all the parts of your face affected by acne.

It should be used sparingly. Too much can irritate your skin. It also makes your face more sensitive to sunlight, so avoid too much sun and ultraviolet (UV) light, or wear sun cream.

Benzoyl peroxide can have a bleaching effect. You should avoid getting it on your hair or clothes.

Common side effects of benzoyl peroxide include:

  • dry and tense skin
  • a burning, itching or stinging sensation
  • some redness and peeling of the skin

Side effects are usually mild and should pass once the treatment has finished.

Most people need a 6 week course of treatment to clear most or all of their acne.

You may be advised to continue some treatment to prevent acne returning.

Topical retinoids work by removing dead skin cells from the surface of the skin (exfoliating). This helps to prevent them building up within hair follicles.

Tretinoin and adapalene are topical retinoids used to treat acne. They’re available in a gel or cream and are usually applied once a day before you go to bed.

Apply to all the parts of your face affected by acne 20 minutes after washing your face.

It’s important to apply topical retinoids sparingly. Avoid excessive exposure to sunlight and UV.

Topical retinoids aren’t suitable for use during pregnancy. There’s a risk they might cause birth defects.

Common side effects of topical retinoids are mild irritation and stinging of the skin.

A 6 week course is usually needed. But you may be advised to continue using the medication less frequently after this.

Topical antibiotics help kill the bacteria on the skin that can infect plugged hair follicles. They’re available as a lotion or gel that’s applied once or twice a day.

A 6 to 8 week course is usually recommended. After this, treatment is usually stopped. This is because there’s a risk that the bacteria on your face could become resistant to the antibiotics.

This could make your acne worse and cause more infections.

Side effects are uncommon, but can include:

  • minor irritation of the skin
  • redness and burning of the skin
  • peeling of the skin

Azelaic acid is often used as an alternative treatment for acne. It’s used if the side effects of benzoyl peroxide or topical retinoids are particularly irritating or painful.

Azelaic acid works by getting rid of dead skin and killing bacteria. It’s available as a cream or gel. It’s usually applied twice a day (or once a day if your skin is particularly sensitive).

The medication doesn’t make your skin sensitive to sunlight. So you don’t have to avoid exposure to the sun.

You’ll usually need to use azelaic acid for a month before your acne improves.

The side effects of azelaic acid are usually mild and include:

  • burning or stinging skin
  • itchiness
  • dry skin
  • redness of the skin

Antibiotic tablets

Antibiotic tablets are usually used in combination with a topical treatment to treat more severe acne.

Antibiotics called tetracyclines are usually prescribed, unless you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.

Pregnant or breastfeeding women are advised to take an antibiotic called erythromycin. It’s safer for them to use.

It usually takes about 6 weeks before you notice an improvement in your acne.

Depending on how well you react to the treatment, a course of oral antibiotics can last 4 to 6 months.

Tetracyclines can make your skin sensitive to sunlight and UV light. They can also make the oral contraceptive pill less effective during the first few weeks of treatment.

You’ll need to use an alternative method of contraception, such as condoms, during this time.

Hormonal therapies

Hormonal therapies can often benefit women with acne. Especially if the acne flares up around periods or is associated with hormonal conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome.

If you don’t already use it, your GP may recommend the combined oral contraceptive pill, even if you’re not sexually active.

This combined pill can often help improve acne in women, but may take up to a year before the full benefits are seen.

Co-cyprindiol

Co-cyprindiol is a hormonal treatment for more severe acne that doesn’t respond to antibiotics. It helps to reduce the production of sebum.

You’ll have to use co-cyprindiol for 2 to 6 months before you notice a significant improvement in your acne.

There’s a small risk that women taking co-cyprindiol may develop breast cancer in later life.

There’s also a very small chance of co-cyprindiol causing a blood clot. The risk is estimated to be around 1 in 2,500 in any given year.

You shouldn’t take co-cyprindiol if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. It’s not thought to be safe. You may need to have a pregnancy test before treatment can begin.

Other side effects of co-cyprindiol include:

  • bleeding and spotting between your periods. This can sometimes occur for the first few months
  • headaches
  • sore breasts
  • mood changes
  • loss of interest in sex
  • weight gain or weight loss

Isotretinoin

Isotretinoin has many beneficial effects. It:

  • helps to normalise sebum and reduce how much is produced
  • helps to prevent follicles becoming clogged
  • decreases the amount of bacteria on the skin
  • reduces redness and swelling in and around spots

But the drug can also cause a wide range of side effects. It’s only recommended for severe cases of acne. These are cases that haven’t responded to other treatments.

Because of the risk of side effects, only a specially trained GP or a dermatologist can prescribe isotretinoin.

Isotretinoin is taken as a tablet. Most people take a 4 to 6 month course.

Your acne may get worse during the first 7 to 10 days of treatment, but this is normal and soon settles.

Common side effects of isotretinoin include:

  • inflammation, dryness and cracking of the skin, lips and nostrils
  • changes in your blood sugar levels
  • inflammation of your eyelids (blepharitis)
  • inflammation and irritation of your eyes (conjunctivitis)
  • blood in your urine

Rarer side effects of isotretinoin include:

  • inflammation of the liver (hepatitis)
  • inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis)
  • kidney disease

Because of the risk of these rarer side effects, you’ll need a blood test before and during treatment.

Isotretinoin and birth defects

Isotretinoin will damage an unborn baby. If you’re a woman of childbearing age:

  • do not use isotretinoin if you’re pregnant or you think you’re pregnant
  • use 1 or, ideally, 2 methods of contraception for 1 month before treatment begins, during treatment, and for 1 month after treatment has finished
  • have a pregnancy test before, during and after treatment

You’ll be asked to sign a form confirming that you

  • understand the risk of birth defects
  • are willing to use contraceptives to prevent this risk, even if you’re not currently sexually active

If you think you may have become pregnant when taking isotretinoin, contact your dermatologist immediately.

Isotretinoin is also not suitable if you’re breastfeeding.

Isotretinoin and mood changes

There have been reports of people experiencing mood changes while taking isotretinoin.

There’s no evidence that these mood changes were the result of the medication.

But as a precaution, contact your GP immediately if you:

  • feel depressed
  • feel anxious
  • feel aggressive
  • have suicidal thoughts

Non-pharmaceutical treatments

Several treatments for acne don’t involve medication.

These include:

  • comedone extractor – a small pen-shaped instrument that can be used to clean out blackheads and whiteheads
  • chemical peels – where a chemical solution is applied to the face, causing the skin to peel off and new skin to replace it
  • photodynamic therapy – where light is applied to the skin in an attempt to improve symptoms of acne

But these treatments may not work and can’t be routinely recommended.

Acne and toothpaste

Many websites say that toothpaste can dry up individual spots.

Using toothpaste in this way isn’t recommended. There are far more effective and safer treatments available from pharmacists or your GP.

While toothpaste does contain antibacterial substances, it also contains substances that can irritate and damage your skin.

Complications

Acne scarring can sometimes develop as a complication of acne. Any type of acne spot can lead to scarring. But it’s more common when the most serious types of spots (nodules and cysts) burst and damage nearby skin .

Scarring can also occur if you pick or squeeze your spots. It’s important not to do this.

There are 3 main types of acne scars:

  • ice pick scars – small, deep holes in the surface of your skin that look like the skin has been punctured with a sharp object
  • rolling scars – caused by bands of scar tissue that form under the skin, giving the surface of the skin a rolling and uneven appearance
  • boxcar scars – round or oval depressions, or craters, in the skin

Treating acne scarring

Treatments for acne scarring are regarded as a type of cosmetic surgery. Talk to your GP if you’re thinking about having cosmetic surgery. They’ll be able to discuss your options with you.

It’s important to have realistic expectations about what cosmetic treatment can achieve. While treatment can certainly improve the appearance of your scars, it can’t get rid of them completely.

After treatment for acne scarring, most people see a 50-75% improvement in their appearance.

Treatments for acne scarring include:

Dermabrasion

Dermabrasion involves removing the top layer of skin. This is done either using lasers or a specially made wire brush.

After the procedure, your skin will look red and sore for several months. But as it heals you should see an improvement in how your scars look.

Laser treatment

Laser treatment can be used to treat mild to moderate acne scarring. There are two types of laser treatment:

  • ablative laser treatment – where lasers are used to remove a small patch of skin around the scar to produce a new, smooth-looking area of skin
  • non-ablative laser treatment – where lasers are used to stimulate the growth of new collagen (a type of protein found in skin).

This helps to repair some of the damage caused by scarring, and improves the appearance

Punch techniques

Punch techniques are used to treat ice pick scars and boxcar scars. There are 3 types of punch technique:

  • punch excision – used to treat mild ice pick scars. The scar is surgically removed and the remaining wound is sealed. After the wound heals, it leaves a smoother and more even area of skin.
  • punch elevation – used to treat boxcar scars. The base of the scar is surgically removed, leaving the sides of the scar in place. The base is then reattached to the sides, but lifted up so it’s level with the surface of the skin. This makes the scar much less noticeable.
  • punch grafting – used to treat very deep ice pick scars. As with a punch excision, the scar is removed. But the wound is “plugged” with a sample of skin taken from elsewhere on the body (usually from the back of the ear).

Subcision

Subcision is a surgical treatment that can be used to treat rolling scars.

During surgery, the upper layer of the skin is removed from the underlying scar tissue. This allows blood to pool under the affected area.

The blood clot helps form connective tissue. This pushes up the rolling scar so it’s level with the rest of the surface of the skin.

Once subscision has been completed, additional treatment can be used to further improve the appearance of the scar. This can include laser treatment and dermabrasion.

Depression

Acne can often cause intense feelings of anxiety and stress. You may become socially withdrawn. This combination of factors can lead to people with acne becoming depressed.

You may be depressed if during the last month you’ve often felt down, depressed or hopeless, and have little interest or pleasure in doing things.

If you think that you or your child may have depression, it’s important to talk to your GP.

Treatments for depression include:

  • talking therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
  • a type of antidepressant called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)

Related topic

Depression in young people

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