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Ann Dermatol. 2014 Dec;26(6):706-12. doi: 10.5021/ad.2014.26.6.706. Epub 2014 Nov 26.

The effect of evening primrose oil for the prevention of xerotic cheilitis in acne patients being treated with isotretinoin: a pilot study.

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1
Department of Dermatology, Chung-Ang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The most common adverse effects of oral isotretinoin are cheilitis, skin dryness, dry eyes, and conjunctivitis, whereas evening primrose oil (EPO) is known to improve skin moisture and transepidermal water loss (TEWL) in healthy adults and atopic patients.

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the clinical efficacy and safety of EPO in preventing xerotic cheilitis in acne patients being treated with oral isotretinoin.

METHODS:

Forty Korean volunteers of Fitzpatrick skin types III and IV, having moderate acne, were enrolled and randomized to receive either isotretinoin with or without EPO for 8 weeks. The efficacy of treatment was evaluated on the basis of global acne grading system scores, number of inflammatory and noninflammatory lesions, TEWL, corneometry, physician's global assessment, and patient satisfaction.

RESULTS:

The results after 8 weeks of treatment showed that the TEWL of the lip increased significantly during isotretinoin treatment, whereas the TEWL of the hand dorsum showed no significant change. The increase of the TEWL of the lip was more definite in the control group than in the experimental group. The number of acne lesions decreased significantly in both groups, and there were no differences between them.

CONCLUSION:

Our study suggests that the addition of EPO improved xerotic cheilitis in acne patients being treated with oral isotretinoin. However, besides TEWL and corneometry assessments, additional studies are required for a complete understanding of the role of EPO in xerotic cheilitis in acne patients being treated with oral isotretinoin.

KEYWORDS:

Acne vulgaris; Evening primrose oil; Isotretinoin; Xerotic cheilitis

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