Acne is the most prevalent chronic skin condition in puberty and adolescence, which manifests itself as non-inflammatory (whitehead and blackhead comedones) and inflammatory (papule, cyst and nodule) lesions. Acne and its dermal impressions have psychological effects on suffering individuals. Based on clinical manifestations, acne is categorized into two groups: in the first group, the condition is mild to moderate and lesions are present only in the visage and no scar exists. In the second group, the condition is usually moderate to severe and the lesions affect the trunk as well and scarring might be present.
Causes of acne include: increase in sebum production, blockage of follicular duct, follicular hyperkeratinization, Propionibacterium acnes and inflammation.
Lavender has been topically used to treat acne and prevent scarring and spot formation in the visage and the body.(1) Lavender is one of the most valuable oils in the treatment of acne. Lavender inhibits the bacteria responsible for skin infections, relieves skin, helps balance sebum production and prevent scarring.(2)
Rose geranium essential oil is antidepressant, antiseptic, a valuable styptic and hemostatic and accelerates healing, which makes it a good candidate for wounds healing.
Rose geranium is used in skin care products due to its pleasant aroma, and its styptic, antiseptic and sebum-regulatory properties. Rose geranium is valuable for skins that are excessively dry or oily and for dry skins with sensitive spots (mixed skins).(2)
In a double-blind clinical trial, 59 patients with acne vulgaris randomly used Acneherb Topical Gel (containing essential oils of lavender and rose geranium) or clindamycin topical gel 1% for 4 weeks. The patients were examined every 2 weeks and the course of treatment was followed up.
At the end of the study, to evaluate the general therapeutic outcome at each stage, the process of change in symptoms was again scored and patients were divided into 4 groups: no response, moderate, fair and excellent. The analysis of the data gathered from this study showed that the effect of the two drugs on erythema, comedone, papule and pustule had no significant difference. Both drugs had the most effect on papules, but in this case too, no significant difference existed between the two drugs. None of the two drugs had any effect on cystic acne. The percentage of reduction in the degree of the disorder, 2 and 4 weeks after treatment, was 48.8% and 76.8% for Acneherb Topical Gel and 55.3% and 49.9% respectively. In the case of both drugs, significant difference was observed for these two times (p<0.001).
The researchers came to the conclusion that, as topical and systemic administration of clindamycin might cause diarrhea, bloody diarrhea and colitis, including pseudomembraneous colitis, Acneherb Topical Gel can be used as an equivalent for clindamycin 1% topical gel, without running the risk for such adverse reactions.(3)