Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Drugs Dermatol. 2012 Mar;11(3):313-7.

Optimizing topical combination therapy for the treatment of acne vulgaris.

Author information

Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA.


Given the multifactorial and complex contributors to acne development, combination therapy is standard of care. By addressing multiple pathogenic factors, combination therapy provides a quicker and more efficacious treatment outcome than monotherapy. Topical retinoids normalize follicular keratinocyte differentiation and are anti-inflammatory. Their use is limited by the potential for cutaneous irritation. Antimicrobials reduce Propionibacterium acnes colonization on the skin and reduce the bacteria's proinflammatory effects. Topical antibiotics and benzoyl peroxide (BPO) are commonly employed in fixed-dose combination products or two separate medications. BPO has the added benefit of being comedolytic and can minimize the risk for bacterial antibiotic resistance. Like topical retinoids, BPO may cause skin irritation, burning, erythema, and peeling. Managing cutaneous side effects when using multiple products that cause irritation can be a challenge. Careful product selection, dose titration, and patient-directed regimens can help to optimize outcomes. This review presents the latest data on two topical acne products that have demonstrated excellent efficacy and tolerability profiles. In addition, their in vitro profiles suggest the potential for combination use, affording greater dosing flexibility.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center