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Clin Dermatol. 2017 Mar - Apr;35(2):173-178. doi: 10.1016/j.clindermatol.2016.10.010. Epub 2016 Oct 27.

Topical treatments for acne.

Author information

1
Andreas Sygros Hospital, 5, University of Athens, Greece, Ionos Dragoumi Street, Athens 11528, Greece. Electronic address: Kosmadaki@gmail.com.
2
Andreas Sygros Hospital, 5, University of Athens, Greece, Ionos Dragoumi Street, Athens 11528, Greece.

Abstract

Topical drugs have been used successfully to treat acne for decades. This review discusses the use, efficacy, and safety of options available via prescription. Topical antibiotics, dapsone, benzyl peroxide, azelaic acid, and topical retinoids are included. Topical antibiotics should not be used as monotherapy but rather be combined with other agents to avoid resistant Propionibacterium acnes strains. Benzoyl peroxide is effective in preventing bacteria resistance. Topical retinoids address primarily the comedonal but also the inflammatory lesions of acne. Azelaic acid is useful in treating acne lesions and for lightening postinflammatory hyperpigmentation that may accompany inflammatory acne lesions. Combinations of agents that address different aspects of acne pathogenesis may offer higher benefit to acne patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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