Freederm and Acne
Acne impacts nearly everyone at one time or another, usually starting in the early teen years as puberty approaches. Although you may find the wide array of nonprescription medications offered for acne treatment a bit bewildering, most contain well-tested acne-fighting ingredients such as salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide and retinol. Freederm acne medication represents another option, since it uses niacinamide as its active ingredient.
It's not clear what actually causes pimples, but scientists have identified the factors that contribute to acne formation. According to MayoClinic.com, they include oily skin, bacteria and irregular sloughing off of dead skin cells. Teenagers frequently develop acne because their oil glands produce more oil during puberty, but many adults---up to half of all women and a quarter of men---also get acne.
Freederm, a company based in the United Kingdom, offers six acne-fighting products: gel, facial cleanser, exfoliating wash, sensitive facial wash, balancing moisturizer and pore-cleansing wipes. Of these, only the gel contains the active ingredient niacinamide to fight acne. Freederm designed the rest as an overall skin-cleansing and moisturizing system to work with the gel product.
Niacinamide gel, also known as nicotinamide gel, is a topical form of the B vitamin niacin, according to the website Drugs.com. Niacinamide appears to have anti-inflammatory and anti-infection properties, but it's not clear exactly how it works. Dry skin commonly results as a side effect of niacinamide treatment, and very rarely someone develops an allergic reaction to the product.
Little research has been performed on Freederm or its active ingredient niacinamide in acne treatment, but one study backs its use. In a study published in the "International Journal of Dermatology" in June 1995, researchers compared niacinamide to clindamycin, a topical antibiotic. Dr. A.R. Shalita and colleagues concluded that 4 percent niacinamide compares well to 1 percent clindamycin in acne treatment.
Freederm received mixed reviews from users on the website Acne.org. Some people reported that their skin initially got worse, but then improved while using the product. Others said the product worked well. Because Freederm is marketed mainly in the United Kingdom, it may be difficult to purchase in the United States, although a few Internet retailers appear to offer it.
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