Most dermatologic diseases respond well to topical drug therapy. There are mild cases of skin diseases like acne, psoriasis, and poison ivy that can be successfully treated with topical agents.
Acne drugs consist of various creams, lotions, and gels to apply topically. These drugs act to cleanse away oil and dead skin, to close the pores, to inhibit the growth of skin bacteria and kill skin bacteria.
Some prescription antibiotics used topically to treat more serious cases of acne vulgaris include:
- Cleocin T, clindamycin
- Meclan, meclocyline
- Topicycline or tetracycline
Severe cystic acne that is unresponsive to antibiotic treatment may be treated with topical tretinoin (Retin-a), which is a form of vitamin A.
Acne rosacea is an adult form of acne not caused by excessive oil but exacerbated by heat, stress, and skin irritation. It is treated with metronidazole (Metro-Gel).
Various topical agents are used to treat psoriasis and include coal tar lotions, gels, and shampoos that cleanse away dead skin and decrease itching. Trade name products include:
Contact dermatitis, poison ivy, insect bites, seborrhea and eczema are treated with the use of topical corticosteroids both over-the-counter and prescription. Some common over-the-counter and prescription generic and trade-name topical corticosteroid agents are: amcinonide (Cyclocort), betamethasone (Diprosone, Uticort, Valisone), and clocortolone.