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Dermatology. 1999;199 Suppl 1:53-6.

Retinaldehyde alleviates rosacea.

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Department of Clinical Research, Pierre Fabre Research Institute, Toulouse, France.



Anecdotal observations suggest that retinoic acid may be effective in mild rosacea.


Our aim was to investigate, by an exploratory clinical and instrumental study, the effects of a topical formulation with the retinoic acid precursor retinaldehyde, in patients with vascular signs of facial rosacea.


Female patients were treated with a 0.05% retinaldehyde cream that was applied once daily for 6 months. Clinical assessments of persistent erythema and telangiectasia were performed every month, using a 4-point severity score (absent to severe). The clinical response for each parameter was defined as a decrease of at least 1 grade in the severity score. In addition, erythema was further evaluated by measurement of the a* parameter, using a spectrophotometer on lesional and nonlesional areas.


A total of 23 women comprised the study population. At baseline, 10 patients had diffuse erythema, 3 patients had isolated telangiectasia and 10 patients had both. During retinaldehyde treatment, a clinical response was revealed in about 75% of the patients with erythema, after 5 months (p < 0.05). Similarly, isolated telangiectasia responded to retinaldehyde, although to a lesser extent and after a longer period of treatment (46% responders after 6 months, nonsignificant). Using the spectrophotometer, the a* parameter diminished in patients with erythema by about 15%, after 2 months of treatment (p = 0.001).


This study indicates that retinaldehyde has beneficial effects on the vascular component of rosacea.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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