How Fast Does Dapsone Gel Work For Acne?
Acne is a common, long-lasting disease of the hair follicle sebaceous glands that makes the skin red and swollen. About 85% of teenagers have acne, but it’s also becoming more common in adults, especially among women. There are 12 percent of women who have acne, but only 3 percent of men who do. Acne tends to happen on areas of skin with a lot of oil glands, like the face, chest, and back. Acne can cause feelings of inferiority, anxiety, depression, social anxiety, and even suicidal thoughts because of the common spots where it shows up.
Antibiotics and isotretinoin are often given to people who have acne. Antibiotics for acne can cause drug resistance, and taking oral isotretinoin can cause side effects and shouldn’t be done if you are pregnant. Acne can be treated with drugs like retinoic acid, benzoyl peroxide, azelaic acid, and antibiotics that are used on the outside of the body. These drugs can cause irritation at the site, which can make the skin red, dry, and flaky. Also, these medicines don’t work if you only take them once, and they often need to be taken with other medicines.
What is Dapsone?
Sulfone is an old drug that is used to kill bacteria and treat cancer. It works in a similar way to sulfonamide when it comes to killing bacteria. But it doesn’t kill gram-positive or gram-negative bacteria, and it has a strong direct effect on Leprosy bacilli that stops them from growing. It can also be used to treat bullous dermatosis, vasculitis dermatosis, aseptic pustulosis, and many skin diseases that are hard to treat, such as chronic urticaria, oral mucosal ulcers, and damage caused by chronic lupus erythematosus that doesn’t leave scars.
Dapsone is a sulfone that can reduce inflammation and kill bacteria. But making topical treatments with dapsone has been hard because it doesn’t dissolve well in the water carriers that are usually used in dermatology products. In recent years, a hydrogel has been developed that makes it possible to use a clinically effective dose of dapsone locally with little absorption into the body as a whole. This is how dapsone gel can be used successfully in the clinic. In 2008 and 2017, the FDA approved 5 percent and 7.5 percent dapsone gels, which can be used to treat acne and other conditions.
Is Dapsone Effective?
Clinical trials have shown that using 5% dapsone gel reduces the size of acne lesions.This is especially true for inflammatory acne lesions. In one of these studies, 506 people over the age of 12 who had moderately to moderately severe acne vulgaris were asked to take part. 1. The patient put the medicine on the hurt areas twice a day. The clinical trial took a whole year. There was a 58.2% drop in the number of inflammatory lesions, a 19.5% drop in the number of non-inflammatory lesions, and a 49% drop in the total number of lesions (P values all below 0.05).
The number of acne lesions went down for the first 6 months and then stayed the same for the next 6 months. Notably, almost 20% of the people who took part in the study also used acne medicines that aren’t allowed. In another study, the global acne assessment score (GAS) and mean lesion count reductions were used to measure how well 5 percent daspone gel treated acne vulgaris.
The data came from putting together the results of two similar 12-week studies with 3,010 patients.
3 In the first study, the GAAS scale worked well for 44% of the experimental group and only 36% of the control group. In the second study, 37% of the experimental group did well on this scale, while only 30% of the control group did well. Among those who used dapsone gel, 40 percent were successful, while 33 percent of those in the control group were successful (P 0.001).
The dapsone group had fewer inflammatory lesions (48 percent vs. 42 percent), non-inflammatory lesions (32 percent vs. 24 percent), and overall lesions (39 percent vs. 32 percent) than the control group.Like the last study, this one found that dapsone worked better on inflammatory lesions than on non-inflammatory lesions. As early as week 2, there was a small difference between the control and experimental groups. By week 8, this difference was big enough to be statistically important.
Even though these trials are very different, dapsone gel seems to be as good as benzoyl peroxide, topical retinoids, topical antibiotics, and oral antibiotics at reducing inflammatory acne lesions. It seems to be less effective than other treatments, but it’s not clear why, because the gels themselves may cause or stop acne from forming. Also, other factors, like the way the study was set up and the people who took part in it, could have led to this result, so more head-to-head trials are needed. In the meantime, dapsone may be an important option for people who can’t use other acne treatments because of side effects or because they don’t work for them.
Dapsone Side Effects
Hematological reactions are the main worry about how well dapsone will be tolerated. Patients who don’t have enough glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) are at a higher risk of hemolysis and hemoglobin denaturation when they take dapsone by mouth. Because of these worries, the FDA at first made testing for G6PD deficiency a requirement before approving topical dapsone. But the above trials of dapsone gel showed that patients, even those with G6PD deficiency, are not more likely to get hemolytic anemia, methemoglobinemia, or a drop in their hemoglobin levels.
Also, a 12-week study of 64 people with G6PD deficiency (14 of whom were severely deficient) who used 5% dapsone gel twice a day for 12 weeks found that the Hb level dropped by 0.32 g/dL 2 weeks after therapy started, but this was not clinically important and was no longer seen after 12 weeks of treatment. Also, no links were found between changes in Hb levels and levels of bilirubin, haptoglobin, LDH, or the number of relative reticulocytes. This is evidence against hemolysis that is clinically important.
Lastly, none of the people who used the dapsone gel showed any signs of hemolytic anemia. Side effects of 5% dapsone gel can occur in the area where it is used.Local side effects that happen most often are oiliness, dryness, and erythema. Each of these happens in nearly 20% of patients. Only 2% or less of the people who took part in the study said that the area where the treatment was put on burned, itched, or made them feel irritated.
But it’s important to remember that these side effects were reported at about the same rate in the control group, which got treatment with vehicle gel. So, it’s likely that bad reactions are caused by the gel rather than the dapsone.
How to use Dapsone Gel
Before you start taking dapsone and every time you get a refill, ask your pharmacist for a copy of the Patient Information Leaflet. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
Before and after you use this medicine, wash your hands. Cleanse the skin gently with a mild, soap-free cleanser and pat it dry. Your doctor will tell you to put a thin layer of a small amount of medicine (about the size of a pea) on the affected skin. This medicine is usually taken once or twice a day, depending on the brand. Use a light touch. Make sure to stay away from the eyes and lips.
Only put this medicine on your skin. Do not put it in or around your mouth, nose, groin, or vaginal area.
Don’t let this medicine get into your eyes. If this happens, flush the toilet with a lot of water. If your eyes start to hurt, call your doctor. Wash your hands after taking the medicine so you don’t get it in your eyes by accident.
Use this product as often as you can to get the most out of it. Use it at the same time every day to help you remember. Do not exceed the recommended dosage or frequency.Your skin won’t get better any faster, and you might be more likely to have side effects.
If your condition doesn’t get better or gets worse after 12 weeks, talk to your doctor.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does dapsone gel work?
Dapsone 5 percent gel is a good way to treat acne because it kills bacteria and reduces inflammation. This makes it especially good for acne that causes inflammation. Dapsone is an antibiotic that helps get rid of acne by reducing inflammation. It also fights the bacteria that cause acne in your pores. You should use it once a day, after washing your face with a mild cleanser and patting it dry, as part of your skin care routine.
What are the side effects of using dapsone gel?
Before you start taking dapsone, it’s important to know about any side effects that could happen. When dapsone is put on the skin, it often causes burning, redness, itching, and dryness at the site of application. Stop taking dapsone and see a doctor if you have any serious side effects, like a fever, skin that is yellow or pale, or a rash. Don’t start using a new acne medicine without first talking to your doctor.
How do I use dapsone gel?
Before you use dapsone gel, make sure you carefully read the directions. Wash the area with a mild cleanser and put a thin layer of a pea-sized amount of the cream on it once or twice a day. Do not put it on your eyes, lips, mouth, nose, groin, or vaginal area. Wash your hands after using the gel so you don’t get it in your eyes or mouth by accident.
How long does it take for dapsone gel to work?
How long it takes for dapsone gel to work as a treatment for acne depends on how bad your acne is when you start using it. If you have mild acne, also called mild inflammatory acne, you might see a difference in 2 to 4 weeks after starting treatment. It may take between 4 and 8 weeks for moderately inflammatory acne to get better. If your acne doesn’t get better after 12 weeks of use, talk to your doctor.
Can I use dapsone gel every day?
Yes, you can use it every day. Because dapsone gel can help fight acne over time, it’s important to keep using it every day for at least 2 months, and preferably 4–6 months, for the best results.
What is the price of Dapsone Gel?
A 30-g tube of dapsone 5 percent gel costs around $146. This is more than the price of a 30-g tube of tretinoin (Retin-A) 0.025 percent gel ($40 [brand: $81]) or clindamycin (Cleocin) 1 percent gel ($18 [brand: $63]).
When people with mild to moderate acne use topical dapsone gel, the number of lesions will go down, especially inflammatory lesions. Even though they can’t be compared directly, dapsone gel has a lower response rate than less expensive topical treatments that are currently available. It might help a few people who are allergic to other treatments or can’t take them, but it shouldn’t be used as the first treatment.
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