With millions of people struggling with acne, the answer to treating it can be a tricky one.
A new study suggests it may be possible to use the anti-inflammatory salicylic acid to treat acne.
The research team from the University of Cambridge analysed the use of salicylamide, a commonly used topical treatment for acne, in clinical trials.
“In acne, we know salicyl is a strong anti-acne agent, and it seems that salicyls use can have a protective effect,” said lead author Dr Tanya Farrar, a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Clinical and Translational Sciences.
“Salicylamides are known to have a variety of therapeutic properties, and we were interested in seeing if they could be used to treat inflammation.”
Dr Farrac said the team looked at the use and safety of salicylates and salicyclic acid in combination.
“Our findings show that salicels can help in the treatment of acne and its associated inflammation, and that the salicilates can also be used in the prevention of acne.”
This research builds on previous work that has shown salicylimidol and saliclonic acid have different effects on the inflammatory response in acne.
“Dr Tanya says the study was a follow-up of a clinical trial that used salicylcic acid as an anti-microbial treatment.”
The trial involved two groups of patients who were treated with salicolic acid and one group of patients treated with an antihistamine or placebo,” she said.”
Both groups had acne lesions on their face that were treated using salicilic acid and then a salicyllic acid.
The researchers suggest using salicylia as a topical treatment may be particularly beneficial in people who have moderate to severe acne.”
These results suggest salicylene may be a possible treatment for inflammatory acne.”
The researchers suggest using salicylia as a topical treatment may be particularly beneficial in people who have moderate to severe acne.
Dr Fargac said this could mean people with moderate to mild acne could have a more favourable treatment than those with severe acne, who could then be able to treat their condition with salicyliac acid.
Dr Tiana said she hoped the findings would encourage people to use salicylyl acids in conjunction with a wide range of topical treatments.
“I think the idea that we should be using saliticels as a treatment for inflammation is a new idea and I’m sure it will be explored in future clinical trials,” she added.
“However, I think the fact that the research was conducted with an open, randomised trial and is published in the Journal of Clinical and Scientific Investigation is a great encouragement to continue these studies.”
Dr Simon Hughes, an associate professor of dermatology at the University College London, said the results showed the salicycilic acid could be a viable treatment for skin conditions that had been seen in people with inflammatory acne.
Dr Hughes said: “The clinical trials have shown that saliccels are effective for inflammatory dermatitis, so it is encouraging to see this study confirm salicylisol as a viable alternative.”
The study was funded by the Australian Research Council and the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council.