Acne is a dermatosis that mainly affects the pilosebacea unit of face, neck and trunk. It is characterized by inflammatory lesions (papules, pustules, nodules and cysts) and non- inflammatory lesions (seborrhea and comedones). It is the most common dermatological disease and affects 80% of people aged 11 to 30 (Kraning 1979). Although usually considered as a typical condition of adolescence, it can affect 8% of patients between 25 and 34 years and 3% between 35 and 44 years (Bergfeld 1995).

Acne remains a major disease of dermatological outpatient practice involving about 20% of all visits (Kraning 1979). But there are also many patients that the dermatologist does not see because they are being treated by other doctors, by pharmacists, by herbalists or by themselves with self-treatment.

The economic impact of acne is remarkable. The world market for the prescription of anti- acne products reached $ 3.3 billion in 2006. The world market for non-prescribed products is estimated to be 2-4 times greater, making the market for anti-acne products one of the fastest growing segments of dermatological sector all over the world (Bowe 2008).

Although not life-threatening, acne usually has serious psychosocial consequences causing low self-esteem, social isolation, depression (Koo 1991). Patients with acne are less successful in finding a job (Cunliffe 1986). Although in many patients acne can be limited to a couple of papules or comedones, severe illness can lead to disfiguring scars on the face.

Many known factors can contribute to the pathogenesis of acne: increased production of sebum; anomalous keratinization of the pilosebaceous canal; bacterial colonization (Propionibacterium acnes is the most important pathogen) and production of inflammatory factors (Hunt 1992).

Acne therapy is aimed at the ongoing clinical phase of the disease. Often, even if a systemic therapy is set up, it is useful to resort to topical, pharmacological and / or cosmetological treatment that can, more effectively and with fewer side effects, improve specific aspects of the symptomatology and eventually reduce unwanted skin reactions. Topical treatment must be accompanied by a high level of acceptability on the part of the patient who, only in this way, will gladly and reliably perform the prescribed treatments. The most frequently used topical agents include keratolytics, alpha-hydroxy acids, benzoyl peroxide, retinoids, azelaic acid and antibiotics (Bowe 2008).

Antibiotics that suppress Propionibacterium acnes are the standard treatment for acne, but are becoming less effective, probably due to the onset of antibiotic-resistant strains (Eady 1989, 1993). The other agents create local side effects of predominantly irritating type not always accepted by patients.

Current cosmetic research is directed towards formulation of topical treatments that are effective and at the same time well tolerated or treatments, to be combined with the classical ones, that can assist or mitigate their side effects.


In this research non-invasive techniques and clinical scores were used to evaluate the normalizing effects on acneic skin of a cosmetic product.