Medication compounding is the process of adjusting the dosage, route of administration, or other aspects of a medication and dermatology compounding involves using drug compounding techniques to create customized medications for use in dermatology. Dermatology compounding is used to customize a medication for a particular patient’s skin, upon the request of a physician.
For dermatologists, having access to a high quality compounding pharmacy is critical. There is no “one size fits all” solution for dermatology medications. Each patient has unique skin that requires its own customized treatment, which makes dermatology compounding necessary for many patients. Dermatologists must be able to select the proper route of administration, type of medication, and dosage to be able to successfully and accurately treat a patient’s skin condition.
In many cases a compounded medication preparation can be more affordable than a commercial preparation, and dermatologists have the benefit of being able to control ingredients to remove allergens if necessary or other ingredients that may not be desirable for the treatment. Compounding is common in dermatology because patients respond better to customized medications rather than commercial preparations, and dermatology is one field where drug compounding has made a major resurgence in recent years.
Dermatology treatments created at compounding pharmacies
Several dermatology treatments can be customized at compounding pharmacies to treat a wide range of different skin conditions. Again, treatments are the most effective when they can be designed around a patient’s unique skin and needs. Compounding pharmacies create treatments that are exactly as the dermatologist requests, and different routes of administration for the treatments can include lotions, foams, balms, creams, gels and more.
Some of the most commonly compounded dermatology treatments include the following:
- Topical Anesthetics – these can include tetracaine, lidocaine, benzocaine and other anesthetics which can be produced in a variety of different routes of administration and concentrates. These compounds are used when a dermatology procedure requires local anesthesia.
- Acne Treatments – various acne treatments can be prepared with drug compounding including azelaic acid, erythromycin, dapsone, retinoic acid, steroids and other compounds. Patients will receive a customized preparation based on their particular needs, and the concentrations of the medication are decided by the dermatologist.
- Anti-inflammatories – various anti-inflammatory medications can be prepared through a compounding pharmacy at the concentrations needed by the patient such as ibuprofen, diclofenac and others.
- Anti-fungals and Anti-infectives – anti-infective medications can be created at compounding pharmacies for dermatology purposes and their concentrations can be adjusted as needed. Examples include ketoconazole, metronidazole, and fluconazole. These and other anti-infectives are used to treat fungal infections of the skin, scalp, and nails.
- Chemical peels –customized chemical peels can be created at a compounding pharmacy with a large range of different concentrations of active ingredients. Concentrations of compounds such as salicylic acid, glycolic acid, retinoic acid, resorcinol, lactic acid and other chemical peel compounds can be adjusted as needed. pHs of the chemical peels are also adjusted based on the requirements of the dermatologist.
- Anti-aging treatments – there are a huge range of anti-aging treatments that can be created at a compounding pharmacy. Skin ages for several reasons including free radical induced cell damage, damage from ultraviolet light, and pollutants. Anti-aging treatments can be custom created at a compounding pharmacy for a particular patient and may include oral or topical anti-oxidants with ingredients such as glutathione, vitamin E, coenzyme Q10, green tea extract, lipoc acid, vitamin C and many others.
Some of the ingredients in compounded dermatology medications
Compounding pharmacies regularly combine a wide range of different medications by the direction of a dermatologist, and the appropriate delivery option can be created based on the patient’s requirements and the effectiveness of the route of administration. Below are a few more common ingredients found in dermatology compounded medications.
- Hydroquinone – hydroquinone is used for skin bleaching for cases of hyperpigmentation, or liver spots. With dermatology compounding, concentrations of up to 10% can be created for hydroquinone preparations.
- Retinoic acid – this is an important ingredient for several dermatological preparations and can reduce the appearance of wrinkles, improve skin elasticity, lighten dark spots and more. Retinoic acid causes skin cells to regenerate and is an effective active ingredient for several treatments. Concentrations of retinoic acid can be controlled by the dermatologist as needed with drug compounding.
- Salicylic acid – this can be used topically to treat a variety of skin conditions including psoriasis and other conditions that involve skin overgrowth, and it can be used to prevent scars for people with acne. It is also used as an active topical ingredient in dermatology medications to reduce the redness and inflammation of acne.
- Hydrocortisone – this is a topical steroid available in a large range of concentrations that is used to treat several different skin conditions including allergic reactions, psoriasis, eczema and more. Over the counter preparations have low doses that may need to be adjusted for a particular patient, and compounding pharmacies can adjust the dose much higher than the 1% that is usually found in most commercial preparations.
Dermatologists should work with a professional compounding pharmacy
These are just a few of the thousands of medications that compounding pharmacies regularly use for custom dermatology treatments. With the wide range of different skin disorders that are treated in dermatology, and the fact that treatments need to be customized for each patient, compounding pharmacies serve an important role for dermatologists.
However, the appropriate compounding pharmacy must be selected by a dermatologist that has the equipment and the proper sterile environment to safely create the medications as needed. A wide range of modern tools may be needed as well.
Absolute Pharmacy is a leading provider of compounded medications for uses in dermatology and can create any range of treatments that are needed by dermatologists safely in a sterile environment and using the most modern equipment available. Our experienced licensed pharmacists can create any custom medications and treatments that you may need for your patients, or if you are a patient already you may use our pharmacy for any of your prescriptions that require compounding. If you have any questions about our dermatology compounding services please contact us today for more information on how we can create customized dermatology medications for you.