How Do Other Dermatologic Drugs Work?

Reviewed on 2/2/2022

How do other dermatologic drugs work?

Other dermatologic drugs are used to treat many types of skin conditions ranging from minor irritations and itching to certain types of skin cancers. Dermatologic drugs that do not fall into any specific class of dermatologic drugs are categorized as other dermatologic drugs.

Other dermatologic drugs include the following:

  • Aminolevulinic acid topical: Aminolevulinic acid is a medication that is used to treat actinic keratosis, a scaly skin condition. Aminolevulinic acid applied topically on the skin lesion becomes protoporphyrin, a photoactive compound. Protoporphyrin gets activated when exposed to the red light used in photodynamic therapy, turns reactive with oxygen, and destroys the scaly skin cells.
  • Collagenase clostridium histolyticum: Collagenase clostridium histolyticum is a medication used to treat Dupuytren’s and Peyronie’s diseases, which are caused by tissue hardening from the buildup of collagen, a structural protein in connective tissue. Collagenase clostridium histolyticum is an enzyme that breaks up collagen.
  • Diphenhydramine topical: Diphenhydramine topical, an antihistamine, is applied on the skin to treat itching and pain from insect bites or other minor skin irritations. Diphenhydramine blocks the activity of histamine, an inflammatory compound that causes allergy symptoms, released by the immune system in response to injury or exposure to allergens.
  • Diphenhydramine/allantoin topical: Diphenhydramine/allantoin topical is a combination medication used to apply on minor skin irritations and injuries. Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine and allantoin is a substance that moisturizes the skin and promotes wound healing.
  • Fluorouracil topical: Fluorouracil topical is an antineoplastic drug that prevents the growth of tumor cells, used to treat precancerous and cancerous skin conditions. Fluorouracil interferes with DNA and RNA synthesis in abnormal skin cells and destroys them.
  • Mechlorethamine topical: Mechlorethamine topical, also known as nitrogen mustard is an alkylating antineoplastic drug used to treat cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, a type of skin cancer. Mechlorethamine adds an alkyl group, a chemical that cross-links DNA strands and causes DNA strand breakage. Mechlorethamine inhibits the rapid proliferation of cancer cells.
  • Poly-ureaurethane: Poly-ureaurethane is a biocompatible polymeric solution used to treat brittle and damaged nails. Applied on the nail, poly-ureaurethane adheres to the nail surface and forms a uniform film over it, protecting it from abrasion, friction, and moisture.
  • Tirbanibulin topical: Tirbanibulin topical is a medication applied on the skin to inhibit the proliferation of skin cells in actinic keratosis. Tirbanibulin inhibits tyrosine kinase, a cellular protein, and tubulin formation in the cell, both of which play important roles in cell proliferation, division, migration, and survival.

What are the uses of other dermatologic drugs?

Other dermatologic drugs are primarily used as topical applications in the form of gels, creams, solutions, sprays, and ointments, except for collagenase clostridium histolyticum, which is injected into the tissue that is being treated.

Other dermatologic drugs may be used in the treatment of skin conditions that include:

  • Aminolevulinic acid topical:
    • Actinic keratosis (rough scaly patch caused by years of sun exposure), in combination with photodynamic therapy
    • Collagenase clostridium histolyticum
    • Dupuytren’s contracture, a painless deformity in the hand due to hardening of tissue under the skin
    • Peyronie’s disease is a condition in which scar tissue causes the penis to have curved, painful erections.
    • Cellulite, fat deposits under the skin
    • Diphenhydramine topical:
    • Pruritus (itching) and pain associated with insect bites, minor skin irritations, and rashes from poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac
  • Diphenhydramine/allantoin topical:
    • Itching and pain associated with insect bites, minor skin irritations, sunburn, rashes, or minor burns, cuts, or scrapes
    • Fluorouracil topical:
    • Actinic keratosis
    • Superficial basal cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer
  • Mechlorethamine topical:
    • Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma is a type of cancer that starts in white blood cells (T-cells) which become abnormal and attack the skin
    • Poly-urea urethane:
    • Nail dystrophy is a condition in which the nails become thin, fragile, and brittle
    • Tirbanibulin topical:
    • Actinic keratosis

What are side effects of other dermatologic drugs?

Side effects of other dermatologic drugs vary with each drug. A few of the most common side effects may include:

  • Aminolevulinic acid topical:
    • Erythema (redness)
    • Pain and burning
    • Irritation and pruritus (itching)
    • Edema (swelling of tissue under the skin)
    • Scab and exfoliation
    • Induration (hardness of tissue)
    • Vesicles (blisters)
  • Collagenase clostridium histolyticum:
  • Diphenhydramine topical:
  • Diphenhydramine/allantoin topical:
    • Mild stinging
    • Hypersensitivity
    • Fluorouracil topical:
    • Pain and burning
    • Rash and pruritus
    • Headache
    • Insomnia
    • Irritability
    • Photosensitivity
    • Blood disorders such as leukocytosis or thrombocytopenia
  • Mechlorethamine topical:
    • Dermatitis
    • Pruritus
    • Bacterial skin infections
    • Skin ulceration or blistering
    • Skin hyperpigmentation
  • Poly-ureaurethane:
    • Stinging upon application
  • Tirbanibulin topical:
    • Erythema
    • Flaking and scaling
    • Crusting
    • Swelling
    • Application site pain or pruritus
    • Erosion and ulceration

Information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these products do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.

What are names of some of the other dermatologic drugs?

Generic and brand names of some of the other dermatologic drugs include:

  • Allegra Anti-Itch Cooling Relief Cream
  • Allegra Anti-Itch Intensive Relief Cream
  • Ameluz
  • aminolevulinic acid topical
  • Banophen Anti-Itch
  • Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Stopping
  • Benadryl Itch Stopping
  • Carac
  • collagenase clostridium histolyticum
  • collagenase clostridium histolyticum-aaes
  • Dermamycin
  • diphenhydramine topical
  • Diphenhydramine-D
  • diphenhydramine/allantoin topical
  • Efudex
  • Fluoroplex
  • fluorouracil topical
  • Klisyri
  • Levulan Kerastick
  • mechlorethamine topical
  • Nuvail
  • poly-ureaurethane
  • Qwo
  • tirbanibulin topical
  • Tolak
  • Valchlor
  • Xiaflex

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