Background: Botanical extracts and preparations have been used in different pathological conditions with success. An important group of phytochemical phenolic compounds are the catechins found in green tea. Acne is a widely occurring inflammatory condition that is estimated to affect 40 to 50 million Americans. Finding an effective, safe, cost-effective and well-tolerated treatment is the challenge.
Objective: To determine the efficacy of 2% green tea lotion in mild-to-moderate acne vulgaris.
Methods: Twenty patients fulfilling enrolment criteria were included. Green tea was given and applied twice daily for a period of 6 weeks. The patients were seen every 2 weeks to evaluate the lesions and any side effects. To determine efficacy on acne severity, the authors used both total lesion count (TLC) and their devised severity index (SI). Total lesions count (TLC) was calculated as papules + pustules while SI was scaled with numbers (1, 2 or 3) correlating to TLC in order of increasing intensity. TLC < 10 was given an SI of 1, TLC 10-20 was given an SI of 2 and TLC > 20 was given an SI of 3.
Results: The mean total lesion count (TLC) decreased from 24 before the treatment to 10 after 6 weeks after treatment, a reduction of 58.33%. The difference was statistically significant (P < 0.0001, 95% confidence interval [CI] of the difference = 8.58 - 19.42). The mean severity index (SI) decreased from 2.05 before treatment to 1.25 after 6 weeks treatment, a decrease of 39.02%. The difference was statistically significant (P < 0.0001, confidence interval [CI] of the difference = 0.54-1.26).
Conclusion: Topical 2% green tea lotion is an effective, cost-effective treatment for mild-to-moderate acne vulgaris.