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dermatology compounding - dermatologist applying cream

Dermatology Compounding

dermatology compounding - dermatologist applying cream

Dermatology Compounding

Products that Are Not Commercially Available

Dermatologists are frequent prescribers of compounded creams. There are many combinations of ingredients that can be made by a compounding pharmacy that are not commercially available. Higher-strength ingredients can be used including in hydroquinone creams and chemical peels. A compounding pharmacy makes medications that have been discontinued, are experiencing shortages, or are not available in the United States. Combination drug products are available to treat a variety of dermatological conditions including:

  • Acne
  • Melasma
  • Psoriasis
  • Molluscum Contagiosum
  • Scarring
  • Rosacea
  • Vitiligo
  • Warts
  • Sun Damage

Dermatology Compounding

Certain drugs like cantharidin are no longer available in the United States. Cantharidin is a powerful medication that many dermatologists consider a first-line treatment for molluscum contagiosum. Although it is commercially available in Canada, this drug is now only available in the U.S. through a compounding pharmacy. A compounding pharmacy provides medications that have been discontinued for reasons unrelated to their safety or efficacy.

Combining drugs together is another specialty of compounding pharmacies. For example, clobetasol propionate is combined with a zinc pyrithione (DermaZinc) spray for the treatment of plaque psoriasis. Hydroquinone, retinoic acid, and hydrocortisone can be combined for the treatment of melasma. A clotrimazole 3%, miconazole 3% combination in a DMSO solution can be made for toenail fungus. Any combination of ingredients and strengths can be made by a compounding pharmacy based on an individual patient’s needs.

Compounded prescription drugs can also be made in strengths that are not available commercially. For example, hydroquinone is only available in formulations of up to 4-6%. A compounding pharmacy can make a formulation with 6%, 8%, or 10% hydroquinone. We can add hydrocortisone to a hydroquinone formulation to relieve some of the irritation while it works. In most cases, dermatologists and other skincare professionals use a compounding pharmacy to obtain products that are more potent and effective than what they can get from other sources. This especially is true regarding patients that do not respond to other treatments. A compounding pharmacy can be an essential resource for a patient with suffering from a severe skin condition.

Compounding for Anti-Aging and Cosmetics

Multiple formulations for reducing signs of aging are available from a compounding pharmacy. Chemical peels with glycolic acid, salicylic acid, TCA, and more can be made in strengths that are hard to find. Creams made for improving the appearance of the skin can include retinoic acid and hyaluronic acid. Retinoic acid increases cell turnover to renew the skin while hyaluronic acid improves the skin’s ability to retain moisture that it loses with age.

A compounding pharmacy can also provide stronger numbing creams for a variety of skin procedures. BLT cream is a triple-anesthetic numbing cream frequently used before removal of lesions, laser resurfacing, microblading, and more. Benzocaine, lidocaine, and tetracaine are combined together in strengths that are not commercially available. This topical anesthetic combination numbs the skin quickly and lasts longer than a numbing cream that is not prescription-strength.

Popular Dermatology and Aesthetics Formulations

Our pharmacy develops products customized to the needs of dermatologists and their patients. Some of the more popular formulations we compound for dermatology and aesthetics include:

  • Chemical Peels – Glycolic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Jessner’s, TCA
  • Tretinoin 0.025%, 0.05%, 0.1% Combination Creams
  • Melasma Kit – Alternative to Cosmelan MD with Hydroquinone
  • Peptide Cream – Hyaluronic Acid 1%, DMAE 3%, Argireline 3%
  • Azelaic Acid 20% Cream
  • Clear Face Pads – Salicylic Acid 2%, Sulfacetamide 5%, Clindamycin 0.5%
  • Hydroquinone 6%, 8%, 10% Creams
  • Cantharidin 0.7% Solution
  • Clotrimazole 3%, Miconazole 3% in DMSO Solution
  • Clobetasol Propionate 50mg in DermaZinc Spray

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