Management of Severe Acne Vulgaris With Topical Therapy.

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Journal of drugs in dermatology : JDD


Acne vulgaris (acne) is the most common skin disease we see in dermatology practice. Although rare in childhood, severe acne can affect up to 12% of the adolescent population. A chronic disease, it requires both aggressive management and effective maintenance strategies. Oral antibiotics, in combination with topical agents are recommended for treatment, with topical agents being continued as maintenance therapy to minimize resistance and recurrence. However, concerns with systemic side effects have recently resulted in a greater focus on the potential of fixed combination topical therapies to treat severe acne. Here we review the available clinical evidence. There are no studies investigating the use of fixed combination topical therapy exclusively in severe acne. However, studies assessing the treatment of moderate-to-severe acne include subpopulation data in severe patients. Adapalene 0.3%-benzoyl peroxide (BP) 2.5% was found to be effective in patients with severe acne, whereas the fixed combination with a lower concentration of adapalene (0.1%) was no more effective than vehicle. Clindamycin-BP 1.2%/3.75% gel and clindamycin-BP 1.2%/2.5% gel were both found to be effective in severe acne with an apparent BP-dose response. Clindamycin phosphate 1.2%-tretinoin 0.025% demonstrated similar efficacy in severe acne, but with little benefit over individual monads. Realistic topical treatment options now exist for the management of severe acne where patient and physician preference can impact positive outcomes.


Medical Subject Headings

Acne Vulgaris; Administration, Cutaneous; Benzoyl Peroxide; Clindamycin; Dermatologic Agents; Humans; Severity of Illness Index

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