Korean J Dermatol.  2013 Nov;51(11):863-870.

Effects of Gamma-Linolenic Acid for the Treatment of Acne Vulgaris Treated with Isotretinoin

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Dermatology, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. romio@hanyang.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Dermatology, National Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.

Abstract

BACKGROUND
Oral isotretinoin is an effective treatment modality for acne, but this agent may cause dryness of the skin and mucous membrane. Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) has been known to improve skin moisture and reduce transepidermal water loss (TEWL). It is also known to have anti-inflammatory effects and to inhibit 5-alpha reductase.
OBJECTIVE
This study was performed to evaluate the clinical efficacy of GLA in the prevention of xerosis and improvement of acne lesions after concomitant administration of isotretinoin.
METHODS
In this prospective study, 102 Korean acne patients were enrolled and randomized to receive isotretinoin either with or without GLA for 12 weeks. Comparing evaluations included skin hydration, TEWL, visual analogue scale (VAS) score for dryness of the lips and skin, number of acne lesions such as comedos, papules, and pustules, Korean acne grading system (KAGS) grade, and patient satisfaction regarding treatment.
RESULTS
The decrease of skin hydration and increase of the TEWL of the lips and cheek were less definite in the experimental group than those of the control group. VAS score for dryness of the lips and skin was significantly lower in the experimental group compared with the control group. The number of acne lesions decreased in both groups; only the numbers of papules were different between the two groups. The decrease of the KAGS grade was more definite in the experimental group than that in the control group.
CONCLUSION
This study suggests that GLA could be used effectively for the improvement of acne lesions as well as for the prevention of xerosis.

Keyword

Acne; Gamma-linolenic acid; Isotretinoin

MeSH Terms

Acne Vulgaris*
Cheek
gamma-Linolenic Acid*
Humans
Isotretinoin*
Lip
Mucous Membrane
Oxidoreductases
Patient Satisfaction
Prospective Studies
Skin
Isotretinoin
Oxidoreductases
gamma-Linolenic Acid
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