Acne is one of the most common skin conditions. Medically, it is known as acne vulgaris. It occurs when skin pores or hair follicles become clogged with dead skin cells and oil from the skin (sebum), and so usually affects skin areas where oil glands are present in relatively high numbers, such as the face, back, and upper chest.
If poorly treated or if left untreated, acne can result in scarring. More, it can negatively impact a person’s psychological state, worsening their mood and lowering their self-esteem, and can be associated with a higher risk of anxiety and depressive conditions.
Acne is most common in puberty, brought on by hormonal changes either during the menstrual cycle or with increasing testosterone, as these hormones cause an increase in sebum production. Dead skin cells then block the pore, leading to the typical swelling or “head” as sebum builds up behind the blockage. Finally, excessive growth of normal skin bacteria occurs in and around the pore, resulting in inflammation, redness and soreness.
Common treatments target one or more of the above stages in the development of acne, and may be either taken orally or applied topically to the affected area (1).
Benzoyl peroxide is commonly used to reduce the number of skin bacteria, and salicylic acid can unblock pores (1). A doctor may prescribe retinoids (e.g. tretinoin), that work to both unblock pores and reduce inflammation, or alternatively, topical antibiotics (e.g., clindamycin or erythromycin) that work by killing off the infecting bacteria.
Most of these treatments have the disadvantage of drying and/or irritating the skin, and many cannot be used by pregnant or nursing women.
At BCP, we have been promoting the benefits of topical nicotinamide (a form of Vitamin B3) for some time. When applied to your skin, it may:
But we wanted to take a moment to point out what we believe is one of its most overlooked abilities: the treatment of acne.
Topical nicotinamide has been shown to be effective in the treatment of acne. A 4% or 5% nicotinamide gel has been found to be as effective as topical 1% or 2% clindamycin gel for treating mild-moderate acne (2,3). The study concluded that nicotinamide’s anti-inflammatory properties may have contributed towards its success, however it has also been shown to reduce the excess facial sebum production that causes inflammatory acne, facial shine (oiliness) and non-inflamed comedones (small, skin-coloured bumps frequently found on the forehead and chin of those with acne). Application of a 2% nicotinamide moisturiser to the face for 4-6 weeks reduced sebum production with significant differences in facial shine and oiliness (4).
Available without a prescription. We have formulated a BCP Vitamin B3 gel that is a 4% w/w nicotinamide gel in a hyaluronate gel base. Importantly, the formulation is non-comedogenic (i.e., it will not block pores). It is available in 50 ml pump packs through our secure BCP Shop online, or by contacting us. We can also make the gel to any other desired strength.
We recommend that Vitamin B3 gels be applied twice daily. If this application rate causes excessive skin drying, it may be applied once daily or every other day.
Another way to take advantage of the benefits of topical Vitamin B3 is to incorporate it into your skin care, such as in a facial moisturiser! Consider our BCP Custom Skincare options. BCP gives you control of your skin care.
It is worth considering that sometimes biofilms of acne-causing bacteria are present that may worsen acne. Using a topical Vitamin B3 product in combination with an EDTA-containing product like our BCP EDTA foaming wash may enhance each product’s benefits—with or without other preparations prescribed by your doctor.
BCP products are unique, because they are formulated by pharmacists.
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Can a compounding pharmacy help with migraines and headaches? Absolutely.
At Border Compounding pharmacy, our pharmacists can combine a number of ingredients and turn them into a gel that can be applied to the first 2 molars on the top gum. You can see from the diagram above this corresponds to the maxillary nerve. By telling this nerve to stop with the pain, you can get it to tell all the other ones in the trigeminal nerve meeting point to stop with the pain too.
The human skin microbiome has been established as being one of the master controls of dermal health. Most people are aware of the presence of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria, but there are other types of organisms present on healthy skin. The biome consists of bacteria, viruses, yeasts and mites.
The main form of mites on the skin are Demodex mites. They reside in the pores of the skin devouring sebum and other dead skin material. There are numerous strains of Demodex mites which vary according to the location they are found. In healthy skin at normal levels, demodex mites appear to release various substances known as immune reactive lipases, which may protect against S.Aureus and S.Pyogenes. Generally, demodex mites are innocuous and inconspicuous - even when their population is excessive. However, in the presence of increased lipid or sebum production or in instances of dermal immunosuppression, demodex mites flourish and start to release inflammatory chemicals. This is believed to be the basis for the inflammation and secondary bacterial infections associated with rosacea and perioral dermatitis.
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