Addressing Free Radical Oxidation in Acne Vulgaris.
J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2016 Jan ;9(1):25-30. PMID: 26962389
Otto H Mills
OBJECTIVE: Comparatively little attention has been paid to the role of free radical oxidation in acne vulgaris. Here, using the traditional abnormalities cited for acne, the authors address the role of free radical oxidation throughout the pathogenesis by detailing the chemistry that may contribute to clinical changes. To probe the effects of free radical oxidation and test an antioxidant, they conducted a preliminary study of topically applied vitamin E.
METHODS: Seventeen patients with mild-to-moderate acne vulgaris were evaluated over an eight-week period in two private dermatology practices in this open-label study. All patients enrolled were on the same baseline regimen of salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. This regimen was then supplemented with topical vitamin E in sunflower seed oil.
RESULTS: At the end of the eight-week period, all patients demonstrated clinical improvement, as indicated by a reduction in the number of lesions and global mean difference. A statistically significant reduction was noted as early as Week 2. Enrolled patients also expressed a positive experience due to good tolerability and easy application.
CONCLUSION: Although the exact pathogenesis of acne vulgaris remains unknown, the presence of excessive reactive oxygen species can be implicated in each of the major abnormalities involved. This presence, along with the positive results of the authors' preliminary study, demonstrates the need for more exploration on the use of topical antioxidants in limiting free radical oxidation in the acne model. This paper is designed to stimulate academic discussion regarding a new way of thinking about the disease state of acne.