It is estimated that about 5% of skin diseases and conditions can be attributed to the influence of pharmaceutical drugs.
Accordingly, elderly people are more frequently affected as they often take several drugs at the same time.
A difference is made between immune system-dependent and immune system-independent reactions; the latter mentioned are more frequently observed.
There are also individuals with a genetic disposition for certain skin diseases which then are activated by medical drugs.
This specifically applies for beta blockers, antibiotics, psychotropic drugs and antidepressant agents containing lithium, aurates, antimalaria drugs, as well as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) which can cause psoriasis.
There are other cases where the skin condition is changed due to the effects of medical drugs with the effect that aggressive foreign substances may then penetrate the skin barrier from the outside. A long term use of glucocorticoids (OTC and prescription oral & topical cortisones) leads to atrophic skin, facilitates teleangiectases, steroid acne, perioral dermatitis, increased hair growth (hypertrichosis) and stretch marks.
Urticaria (hives) may develop after the non allergic histamine release of x-ray contrast media and NSAIDs (Tylenol, Naproxin Soduim, Motrin, Advil, aspirin, etc.).
Some groups of medical drugs are already well-known for their potential of causing skin reactions which partly depends on their frequent use which in its turn again leads to the fact that extremely rare reactions can be more often observed.
Not mentioned are side effects which are linked to additional conditions.
As an example, smoking influences the degradation of pharmaceutical drugs in the liver which can also have effects on the skin appearance. Beyond that, reciprocal action between several medical drugs may lead to unwanted side effects.
Not considered are also vaccines and their additives. Furthermore it has to be kept in mind that small amounts of additives will accumulate as they are also used in the food industry like for instance azo colors. This is why practitioners ask their clients and patients for comprehensive information regarding pharmaceutical drugs and nutrition.
IS YOUR MEDICATION AFFECTING YOUR SKIN? (See the List ....)