Comparative evaluation of the efficacy of four topical medications individually or in combination to treat grade I acne vulgaris

J Indian Med Assoc. 2009 Apr;107(4):219-22.


A randomised study was carried out to evaluate the efficacy of four topical medications individually and in combination to treat grade I acne vulgaris which is characterised by mild lesions (< 10 in one side of face) consisting of predominantly comedones with occasional pustules in oily skin. Maintaining the inclusion and exclusion criteria 100 patients were selected and divided into 5 groups to receive different topical drugs at random basis in the dermatology OPD. Topical medication given to them is mentioned below against each group: Group I--retinonic acid, group II--benzoyl peroxide, group III--clindamycin, group IV--cleanser and group V--all the four medications. The patients were observed for reduction in number of comedones, suppression of papulopustules with healing rate, effects on facial skin, and rate of recurrence. Results were observed according to the groups. In group I old acne was reduced in size and gradually cleared off (80%). Recurrence was few with appearance of new microcomedones which were cleared off within short time. Skin became smoother and fresh. Texture became lighter in colour. In group II whiteheads were reduced at about 70% in number. Rate of recurrence was normal. Skin became rough and dry. In group III pustular acne healed better and faster. In group IV acne of oily skin healed better and faster. Rate of recurrence was normal. Skin became fresh and oil-free. In group V reduction of lesions was very much significant (90%) with quick healing rate of the comedones. Recurrence was normal but delayed. Skin became smoother, finer and fresher. So, combination therapy is better. Cleanser is always helpful even without medications.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / diagnosis
  • Acne Vulgaris / drug therapy*
  • Administration, Topical
  • Adolescent
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage
  • Benzoyl Peroxide / administration & dosage*
  • Clindamycin / administration & dosage*
  • Dermatologic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Detergents / administration & dosage*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tretinoin / administration & dosage*
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Detergents
  • Clindamycin
  • Tretinoin
  • Benzoyl Peroxide