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The Effect of Pantothenic Acid on Acne Vulgaris
One hundred patients of Chinese descent were included in the study, 45 males and 55 females. The age ranged from 10 to 30, and with about 80% between 13 and 23. The severity of the disease process varied. They were given 10 grams of pantothenic acid a day in four divided doses.
To enhance the effect, the patients were also asked to apply a cream consisting of 20% by weight of pantothenic acid to the affected area, four to six tines a day. With this treatment regimen, the response is as prompt as it is impressive.

There is a noticeable decrease in sebum secretion on the face usually 2-3 days after initiation of therapy. The face becomes less oily.

After two weeks, existing lesions start to regress while the rate of eruption of new acne lesions begins to slow down.

In cases with moderate severity, the condition is normally in complete control in about eight weeks, with most of the lesions gone and new lesions only to erupt occasionally.
In those patients with severe acne lesions, complete control may take months, sometimes up to six months or longer.

In some of these cases, in order to get a more immediate response, it may even be necessary to step up the dose to 15-20 grams a day. In any event, the improvement is normally a gradual and steady process, with perhaps minor interruptions by premenstrual flare or excessive intakes of oily food. With this form of treatment, another striking feature is the size of the facial skin pore.
The pore size becomes noticeably smaller within one to two weeks, very often much sooner. Like sebum excretion, the pores will continue to shrink until the skin becomes much finer, giving the patient a much more beautiful skin.

This decrease in skin pore size is presumably related to sebum excretion. When an acne lesion is formed, there is in the epithelial cell of the hair follicle an accumulation of lipids, leaving the epithelial cells bulky and the lumen of the gland narrowed. When there is a concomitant increase in sebum flow, the follicle has no choice but to hypertrophy to accommodate the changes, resulting in an enlarged skin pore and coarse skin. With the administration of pantothenic acid, the whole process is reversed. Lipid metabolism becomes normal and efficient. The epithelium is no longer laden with fat droplets, there is a decrease in sebum excretion, the hypertrophy process is not required. The skin pores revert to a much smaller size and the skin becomes smooth and fine.

As acne lesions tend to subside spontaneously after puberty, some patients do not need a maintenance dose. But, if a patient is in his mid-teens, when the sexual characteristics have yet to fully develop, it may be necessary for replacement therapy to be implemented. This maintenance dose, can be lowered, or increased with the clinical symptoms. A maintenance dose will not only act as a preventive measure against sporadic eruption, but the extra pantothenic acid will help to ease the relative deficiency state, and likely improve the general health of the patient.


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