Drugs & Medications

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Everything you need to know.

Finding the right treatment for any skin condition can be a complicated task, and it is essential to seek the help of a qualified dermatologist. At Canterbury Skin and Laser Clinic, our Consultant Dermatologists have expertise in the drugs and oral medications available to combat issues related to skin health. 

During a consultation, you will receive a diagnosis and advice on the best treatment options for your condition. From antibiotics and antivirals to antifungal medications, our medical professionals will provide you with the most appropriate medication for maximum effectiveness.

Topical Creams and Lotions

Antibacterial medicines have proved essential in the ongoing effort to maintain healthy skin. Whether in oral or topical forms, these powerful medications can help treat a variety of conditions, from mild lacerations to more serious, long-term infections such as Acne. Popular treatments include flucloxacillin, erythromycin, and tetracycline – each of which has demonstrated effectiveness at reducing symptoms whilst promoting overall health. Together with good hygiene practices, antibacterial medications form an integral part of protecting our skin from harm.

Fungal infections, like ringworm and athlete’s foot, can be uncomfortable and require an aggressive treatment plan to manage. Fortunately, there are antifungal agents available that can eliminate the problem. For cases of toe nail infection that have become severe, oral medications such as terbinafine or itraconazole may be prescribed to relieve the symptoms and clear up the infection. Appropriate use of these medications combined with good hygiene practices can help to prevent fungal infections from developing in the first place.

Acne can be an embarrassing and uncomfortable problem to live with, but there is hope. Benzoyl peroxide is among the most popular and accessible treatments for mild to moderate acne breakouts. Available in such forms as lotion, wash, foam and gels, this antiseptic works by reducing the number of bacteria on your skin so that it can begin to heal. It is also one of the first treatments that doctors recommend when it comes to treating this skin condition. 

Coal tar has been a reliable medical solution for years due to its efficacy in resolving skin conditions like seborrhoeic dermatitis or psoriasis. Its strength may range from 0.5% to 5%, and its application is generally straightforward and require only minor effort, making it an ideal all-around treatment. Coal tar provides effective relief and an improved appearance with minimal side effects.

Corticosteroids are a beneficial way to treat various skin conditions that are linked with autoimmune diseases and inflammation. They come in a variety of forms such as foams, lotions, ointments and creams, making it easy to find one that works best for the individual patient. There are four different strengths from which to choose, from mild to moderate levels, which ensures that the patient can tailor their treatment plan to meet their specific needs and issues without risking putting themselves at risk for severe side effects.

Non-steroidal ointments and creams are a safe, natural, and effective solution for those who suffer from eczema, psoriasis or other inflammatory skin conditions. By applying these topical treatments directly to the affected area of the skin, patients can experience significant symptom relief in a short amount of time, including a reduction in itching, redness, scaling and burning sensations. Not only that, but these treatments also enable better maintenance of the skin long-term as they actively reduce inflammation which can contribute to further flare-ups.

Retinoids are a valuable asset in the fight against skin conditions. Derived from Vitamin A, their powerful active ingredients make them highly effective in treating and managing all kinds of conditions – including acne, inflammation, cancer and premature skin ageing. The good news is that they are available in either gel or cream form, making them easy to apply with minimal effort. 

Salicylic acid has a strong keratolytic effect, making it a popular choice for treating common skin issues like acne and warts; it helps reduce the thickness of these affected areas. Salicylic acid can be found in various forms, including lotions, gels, soaps, shampoos and patches. This widespread availability allows people to choose whichever affords them the best results. 

Oral And Injection Medications

When it comes to tackling a wide range of skin issues, antibiotics can be an effective treatment option. Depending on the type and severity of bacterial infection, different antibiotics offer varying levels of effectiveness in managing symptoms. Frequently prescribed antibiotics include dicloxacillin, erythromycin and tetracycline; each has been successful in helping sufferers to reduce symptoms associated with their skin condition. 

Oral antifungal agents such as Terbinafine and Itraconazole are effective treatments for common fungal infections. Also known as dermatophyte infections, these afflictions include ringworm, athlete’s foot, fungal nail infection, vaginal thrush, and certain forms of dandruff. Taking antifungal medications regularly results in decreased severity of symptoms and ultimately helps manage the condition. Patients should discuss medication regimes and potential risks with their physicians before starting any treatment plan.

Antiviral agents are swiftly becoming the go-to choice in dermatology when it comes to treating skin conditions related to herpes and shingles. Popular antivirals like acyclovir, aciclovir and valaciclovir are available as creams, tablets or even intravenously – ensuring that symptom relief is easily accessible for all suffering from either oral/genital herpes (“cold sores”) or zoster (“shingles”). Used together, these drugs offer a potent and safe solution to alleviate symptoms of the two common viruses.

Oral corticosteroids are a powerful form of treatment for flares caused by auto-immune skin conditions and inflammation. While topical steroids are usually the first treatment prescribed by dermatologists due to their lower risk of side effects, oral corticosteroids can also be effectively used to treat severe flare ups which do not respond to topical treatments. They can quickly reduce inflammation and help clear up any associated discomfort or rash. This type of prescribed intensive treatment should always be taken under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

Immunosuppressant drugs are often used to treat severe cases of autoimmune diseases like psoriasis, eczema, and alopecia areata. They can also be helpful in combating inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, psoriatic arthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis. Azathioprine is the most commonly prescribed immunosuppressant drug used by dermatologists for chronic dermatitides and bullous disorders due to its relatively low-risk profile. With proper oversight by a qualified doctor, it can be an effective weapon against these serious health challenges.

Biologics are a new treatment for inflammatory skin conditions. By targeting over-active components of the immune system, they effectively combat inflammation and thus reduce the symptoms of psoriasis and eczema. Such treatments can provide much-needed relief for those who suffer from skin conditions, improving both physical and mental health outcomes in many cases.

Enzyme inhibitors play an important role in aiding our immune systems. These powerful molecules work by interrupting the activity of specific enzymes, thereby reducing or eliminating inflammation. This allows the body to restore balance and begin the recovery process. 

Medication Side Effects

It’s always important to keep your Dermatologist informed of all medications you’re taking, whether they’ve been prescribed by a doctor or purchased over the counter. This is because many non-dermatological drugs can cause skin-related side effects and detract from the success of treatments received. Here at our practice, we also offer something extra – a personalised Pharmacogenomic (PGx) Test that matches your genetics to the most suitable medication for you. You’ll get detailed results from a simple saliva test so that we can provide an optimised plan for any potential treatments or medications prescribed by our team.

What is Pharmacogenomics (PGx)?

Pharmacogenomics (PGx) is a rapidly advancing field with the potential to profoundly impact medical care. By analysing an individual’s genetic profile, PGx allows healthcare professionals to better predict drug response and reduce the risk of adverse drug reactions, thus improving safety and efficacy when prescribing medication.

Furthermore, PGx holds the promise of earlier intervention by identifying those who are at increased risk of certain diseases due to predisposed genetics. This knowledge can improve early diagnosis and help practitioners tailor treatments more precisely and effectively. With PGx continuing to gain traction in medicine, it will likely become integral in informing clinical decisions in the near future.

The Mantara PGx DNA Test And report

The Mantara PGx genetic test is a reliable source for improved patient outcomes in the UK, as it has been CE and UKCA marked based on the outputs of the UPGx-facilitated PREPARE study. This large-scale trial provided evidence that pre-emptive PGx testing could potentially reduce adverse drug reactions by 30%, making it a trusted standard among practitioners. Additionally, this test takes into consideration only the most pertinent data from the most extensive global study related to PGx to date, adding a layer of credibility.

Put simply, Mantara provides practitioners and patients alike with a trusted source for improved patient outcomes due to accurate and effective result interpretation and the most significant research to inform the report that is produced for each patient.


PGx is based on the understanding that variations in our genetic makeup can influence how we respond to certain medications. By having your individual genetic information available, dermatologists can identify these differences and tailor treatment plans to be more effective for specific individuals.

As this field continues to advance, healthcare providers are better able to prescribe medicines that will maximise  both safety and efficacy; elevating overall standards of healthcare.

PGx testing can provide important insight into a person’s genetic makeup, and be beneficial for many patients. For instance, individuals who are concerned about developing side effects from their medications or have experienced significant side effects in the past are excellent candidates for PGx testing.

Similarly, people with comorbid conditions (co-occurring disorders) who have complicated treatment plans may benefit from understanding more about their genes and how they interact with specific drugs. Additionally, lifestyle factors such as coffee consumption or tobacco smoking that can affect drug blood levels and tolerability can be uncovered through testing.

Finally, PGx testing is valuable to patients because their genes never change – providing thorough and up-to-date information on the individual.


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dermatology specialists


Here at Kent’s leading private skin and laser clinic, our experts are specialists in all aspects of dermatology, skin cancer, anti-ageing and beauty treatments. We are one of the few skin clinics in the UK where all medical consultations and treatments are provided by specialist doctors with Dermatology experience and laser training.

Canterbury Skin and Laser Clinic is regulated by the Care Quality Commission, ensuring the best level of treatment is provided to you in a safe environment. Our Clinical Lead Dr Mark Hudson-Peacock is a member of the British Association of Dermatologists, the British Laser Medical Association, the British Hair and Nail Society, the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology and is certified by the Consulting Room. We have won many awards including the WhatClinic Patient Service Award in 2019 and the ghp Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Awards 2019.

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