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J Res Med Sci. 2019 Nov 27;24:101. doi: 10.4103/jrms.JRMS_398_19. eCollection 2019.

The effectiveness of adapalene 0.1% with intense pulsed light versus benzoyl peroxide 5% with intense pulsed light in the treatment of acne vulgaris: A comparative study.

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Department of Dermatology, Isfahan Medical University, Isfahan, Iran.
Skin Disease and Leishmaniosis Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.



Acne vulgaris (AV) is one of the most common skin diseases with major psychological impacts. Hence, selecting the best treatment modality is so important; there are different ways to treat AV such as topical and systemic agents, laser, and also photodynamic therapy. In this study, we tried to assess the difference between the efficacy of combination therapy with intense pulsed light (IPL) and benzoyl peroxide (BPO) in comparison with IPL and adapalene (AD) in the treatment of the mild to moderate AV.

Materials and Methods:

Thirty Iranian females in reproductive age with mild to moderate acne were enrolled in this study. The left and right side of the patients were randomized to receive either AD 0.1% or BPO 5% every other day plus three sessions of monthly apart IPL in the treatment of AV. Different parameters of AV such as acne severity index (ASI), total acne lesions counting (TLC), and Acne Global Severity Scale (AGSS) were measured before, during, and after the treatments.


There was a significant difference regarding AGSS, TLC, and ASI before and after treatment with AD plus IPL (P < 0.001). Furthermore, there was a significant difference regarding AGSS, TLC, and ASI before and after treatment with BP plus IPL (P < 0.001). However, no significant difference regarding AGSS, TLC, and ASI were observed between the 2 groups after treatment (P > 0.05). No significant side effects were observed in both groups.


Our study shows that there was not any significant difference between combining IPL with either AD or BPO so we can use either one of these combinations to achieve similar efficacy.


Acne vulgaris; adapalene; intense pulsed light

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