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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Evolution of a strategy for the treatment of acne.

The management of skin disease may differ in different parts of the world, but in most countries, acne should be a most treatable disease. Acne therapy has not evolved in the most logical fashion, but this article reviews our demonstration of risk factors in the treatment of acne. Young patients, male patients, truncal acne, a marked seborrhea, and a low dose (500 mg/day or less) of tetracycline are factors associated with a poorer response and, when oral therapy is stopped, a greater relapse rate. One gram a day of tetracycline, given for 6 months, is the minimum course of oral therapy and should be given along with topical therapy. One of the most widely used topical treatments is benzoyl peroxide, and this presentation was given in honor of Dr. William Pace, who was possibly the first dermatologist to be aware of the benefit of benzoyl peroxide--a fact not adequately recorded in dermatologic history. A small number of patients do not respond well to conventional therapy, but alternative treatments should bring about a successful outcome. Alternative treatments include hormonal therapy (i.e., 2 mg cyproterone acetate plus 50 micrograms ethinyl estradiol; spironolactone, 100 mg twice daily; or isotretinoin, 1 mg/kg). The success of all these treatments bears some relationship to their effect in modulating the etiologic factors of acne: an enhanced sebum production, increased ductal cornification, abnormal bacterial colonization, and the production of inflammation. Isotretinoin is the most beneficial of all drug regimens, and this fact no doubt relates to its favorable effect on all etiologic factors.[1]


  1. Evolution of a strategy for the treatment of acne. Cunliffe, W.J. J. Am. Acad. Dermatol. (1987) [Pubmed]
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