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Christine R. Totri, MD,a,b Catalina Matiz, MD,a,b and Andrew C. Krakowski, MDa,b

Christine R. Totri

aUniversity that California, mountain Diego, La Jolla, California;

bPediatric and Adolescent Dermatology, Rady Children’s Hospital, san Diego, California


Catalina Matiz

aUniversity the California, mountain Diego, La Jolla, California;

bPediatric and Adolescent Dermatology, Rady Children’s Hospital, san Diego, California


Andrew C. Krakowski

aUniversity the California, mountain Diego, La Jolla, California;

bPediatric and also Adolescent Dermatology, Rady Children’s Hospital, san Diego, California


Corresponding author.

You are watching: Does baby pee clear up acne


Complementary and different medicine therapies are obtaining popularity amongst patients, aided by modern-day media outlets that facilitate easy and rapid circulation of information. “Urine therapy” is one together complementary and alternate medicine and also is described by its advocates as a wonder therapy for inflammatory conditions, such together acne vulgaris. As with other safety and alternative medicines, healthcare providers have to be responsibility of the use of to pee therapy and also its potential implications for patient who might utilize it.


A 16-year-old young presented come the authors’ Pediatric and also Adolescent dermatology Clinic for review of worsening acne vulgaris that the face. He reported severe flaring of his acne in the last number of months after he started daily topical applications of his own urine top top his face. The patient’s mother had seen a cable tv talk show touting the worths of to pee therapy and also pressured her child to shot the technique. ~ “verifying” the usage of urine for acne on the Internet, the patience acquiesced. He detailed initial improvement with application of his own fresh urine. However, his acne worsened substantially when he began applying stored, unrefrigerated urine that he had gathered in order to treat himself more conveniently. The patient denied any history of other clinical or psychiatric conditions.

Physical examination revealed diffusive comedones, inflammation papules, pustules, and also scars top top the face, regular with significant acne vulgaris (Figure 1). Skin culture grew 2+ typical skin flora. That was began on dental doxycycline lOOmg twice daily, topical tretinoin, and benzyol peroxide wash and also was noted to be “almost clear” at his three-month follow-up visit. The patient denied further urine therapy and, besides emotion embarrassed through the situation, he to be relieved to be doing better.


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Diffuse comedones, inflammation papules, pustules, and also scars on the face, consistent with severe acne vulgaris.


DISCUSSION

In complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), urine therapy is the use of urine either topically or orally come sustain or boost one’s health.1 documents dating back to the ancient Egyptians and also Greeks testify to the strength of urine therapy, referring to urine as the “gold of the blood” and the “water of life.”2 particularly popular in Asia, the middle East, and South America, urine therapy advocates cite historical use as proof of that therapeutic potential claiming urine not only as a therapy for countless skin conditions, but likewise “free cure” for numerous systemic diseases.3

While recycling what the human body intentionally gets rid of may it seems to be ~ counterintuitive to good health, it is crucial to think about that specific components of pee are commonly utilized as classic medical therapies. Premarin (conjugate equine estrogens, Pfizer) is a prescription drug used to law the symptom of menopause; interestingly, that is isolated indigenous pregnant mares’ urine.4 In dermatology, artificial urea is an energetic ingredient in plenty of commercial products. Urea, or carbamide, is used to boost water-binding capacity of the stratum corneum. In higher concentrations, it is likewise believed to it is in keratolytic and also is provided for conditions such together psoriasis, ichthyosis, and also dermatophytosis.5 In a study utilizing 21 person volunteers, urea boosted barrier role and magnified antimicrobial peptide (AMP; LL-37 and β-defensin-2) expression. Furthermore, the study verified that subject urea application normalized both barrier duty and AMP expression in a murine model of atopic dermatitis.6

Despite the zeal the its advocates, the clinical evidence for pee therapy continues to be sparse in timeless medical literature. Such techniques may likewise be dangerous. Fabricated urea produced in a controlled setup may act really differently from entirety urine accumulated and applied directly to human skin. Likewise, although initially sterile, urine left exterior the body because that an extended period of time becomes a growth medium because that bacteria. Applications to a endangered skin barrier, such as that seen in inflammatory conditions like acne and atopic dermatitis, might leave patients at risk to both topical and systemic infections. Gram-negative bacterial infection was a particular concern because that our “severely flaring” patient, prompting the wound culture, i beg your pardon revealed only normal skin flora.

CAM usage is pervasive among dermatology patients, v a systematic evaluation estimating a lifetime prevalence that 35 to 69 percent in ~ this certain population.7 The camer market for acne particularly is specifically large—and greatly unexplored—with options such as hazel (Hamamelis virginiana), tea-tree (Leptospermum spp.) oil, citrus washes, aloe vera, zinc, “tissue salt” tablets, and also evening primrose oil (Oenothera biennis’).

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8 in spite of the all at once lack of proof supporting its role in acne management, urine therapy has emerged as one together acne CAM. Provided its potential for significant side effects, unregulated nature, universal availability, and vocal constituency that supporters, providers should be educated about urine therapy’s potential use.9 Furthermore, much better understanding the the beliefs and opinions of patient can assist reduce obstacles in the doctor-patient relationship, and ultimately command to far better outcomes.