Effective medications to treat acne sometimes become unavailable in certain countries, either for economic reasons or for shortage of them in the pharmaceutical market. The purpose of this report is to review a series of drugs of topical and systemic use; some old and some new. The topical group includes agents such as sulfur, salicylic acid and the alpha-hydroxy acids, while the systemic group includes diaminodiphenylsulfone, clofazimine, ibuprofen and others. Some presumably useful physical methodologies and the recent findings in phototherapy, particularly the properties of blue light and blue-red light, are also reviewed. Finally, we report on the results obtained from the combined use of isotretinoin and methylprednisone in severe inflammatory acne, to prevent a possible triggering of the ‘pseudo’ acne fulminans.

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