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J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2019 May;12(5):20-26. Epub 2019 May 1.

The Potential Uses of N-acetylcysteine in Dermatology: A Review.

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Drs. May, Reservo, Tung, and Swan are with the Department of Dermatology at the Stritch School of Medicine at Loyola University Chicago in May wood, Illinois. Mses. Janeczek, Riopelle, and Vetter are with the Stritch School of Medicine at Loyola University Chicago in May wood, Illinois.


Background: In recent studies, N-acetylcysteine has been shown to be efficacious in several dermatologic conditions. Objective: The aim was to review clinical trials that assess the efficacy of N-acetylcysteine in cutaneous disorders. Design: The PubMed database was searched and a manual search of clinical trials in the references was performed. Studies included randomized, controlled studies, uncontrolled studies, meta-analyses, and systemic reviews published between years 1966 and 2017. Results: Efficacy of N-acetylcysteine was shown in excoriation disorder, onychophagia disorder, trichotillomania, acne vulgaris, Type I lamellar ichthyosis, bullous morphea, systemic sclerosis, toxic epidermal necrolysis, atopic dermatitis, xeroderma pigmentosum, and pseudoporphyria. Studies also show benefits in wound healing and photoprotection. Conclusion: The review of available literature suggests that N-acetylcysteine could potentially serve as a safe, tolerable, and effective therapeutic option for a variety of dermatologic conditions.


N-acetylcysteine; dermatological disorder; intravenous therapy; oral therapy; pharmacology; topical therapy


Conflict of interest statement

FUNDING:No funding was received for this study. DISCLOSURES:The authors have no conflicts of interest relevant to the content of this article.

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