nb. I was asked by a reader "if I had acne what I would do besides diet." I have never tried this regimen, nor has anyone else I know. This is what I would do based on what I have read.
Modern Medicine Treatments: Tretinoin, Minocycline (and other Abx), Accutane, etc...
Usual Recommendations: Salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, moisturizer, etc...
For Women: OCPs
What could work better? This is the regimen:
Optional but recommended: Tretinoin cream (not gel)
- Red Yeast Rice - Reasoning: Abx prescribed by doctor's are used for their anti-inflammatory properties (which includes killing the P. acnes bacteria). Why not use something similiar with less side-effects. RYR is what statins are derived from and statins have: anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, antioxidant, metabolic, and possible anticancer effects (3).
- Minocycline SE: vestibular disturbance, Candida infection, gastrointestinal disturbance, cutaneous symptoms (pigmentation, pruritus, photosensitive rash and urticaria) and benign intracranial hypertension. (1).
- Tetracyclines (which Minocycline is) may not even work long-term (2)
- Zinc Citrate (15mg) (4). While research in this area is equivocal the mechanistic evidence seems helpful. But don't overdo it.
- Wash face with Neutrogena Acne Face Wash
- Apply Eucerin generously - help break up some of the skin so it doesn't plug (5)
- Do this twice a day
- If using Tretinoin cream apply after wash, then wait 20 minutes before applying Eucerin.
1. Br J Dermatol. 1996 Apr;134(4):693-5.Safety of long-term high-dose minocycline in the treatment of acne.Goulden V, Glass D, Cunliffe WJ.
2. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2012 Mar;50(3):157-61.Oral tetracyclines may not be effective in treating acne: dominance of the placebo effect.Chiou WL.
3. Jowkar, F. and Namazi, M. R. (2010), Statins in dermatology. International Journal of Dermatology, 49: 1235–1243. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-4632.2010.04579.x
4. Dermatology. 2001;203(2):135-40.Multicenter randomized comparative double-blind controlled clinical trial of the safety and efficacy of zinc gluconate versus minocycline hydrochloride in the treatment of inflammatory acne vulgaris.Dreno B, Moyse D, Alirezai M, Amblard P, Auffret N, Beylot C, Bodokh I, Chivot M, Daniel F, Humbert P, Meynadier J, Poli F; Acne Research and Study Group.
5. Br J Dermatol. 1976 Feb;94(2):145-53.The action of a urea-lactic acid ointment in ichthyosis with particular reference to the thickness of the horny layer.Blair C.