My Face Keeps Breaking Out

Severe acne treated with antibiotic and laser light therapies

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) In spite of developments in the treatment of acne, scientists do not have a definitive explanation for the cause of acne. Now there are questions regarding the effectiveness of treatments.

A review of current acne treatments, both over the counter (OTC) and prescription has been scrutinized recently by medical researchers in the UK. New findings published recently in the Lancet claim is there is not enough quality statistical proof or properly structured studies to scientifically support the effectiveness in various acne treatments.

"Ask your dermatologist about new acne therapies."

Hywel Williams, from the Centre of Evidence-Based Dermatology at the University of Nottingham, the lead scientist/author on the seminar report said in a statement to the press, “The large number of products and product combinations, and the scarcity of comparative studies have lead to disparate guidelines with few recommendations being evidenced-based.”

Although there have been major advancements in the treatment of acne in the last 25 years, common acne continues to be a problem not only for teenagers, but also many adults, well into their 30’s. Progress has been made in the alleviating the psychological/social emotional effects severe acne along with new antibiotic therapies and laser light therapy.

Yet for the millions of moderate to mild cases that plague most people, reliance on the standby treatments continues to be the main course of treatment; especially since many experts have advised against the regular prescription of strong antibiotics for fear of escalating bio-resistance.

In a seminar review of the supporting evidence for common acne treatments medical scientists were critical of the collected statistics and study design for many popular acne treatments such as bezoyl peroxide, retinoid, hormonal medications such as birth control pills as beneficiary side effect, topical dapsone along with antibiotic treatments.

Research trials have been previously conducted on these products, but the conclusion of the Lancet seminar was a call for more comparative research on the effectiveness of different therapies.

Acne is a condition that its cause is not completely understood by medical science. It tends to develop in individuals based upon different factors: genetics in combination with hormonal balance, diet, exercise, hygiene, stress and environment but the exact biomechanics are not clearly understood.

Because most people depend upon a wide variety of products and treatments, researchers requested more comparative studies be made of acne treatments to establish more effective clinical and advisory guidelines.

From The Lancet August 2011.

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Review Date: 
September 13, 2011
Last Updated:
September 26, 2011