A study of the efficacy of cleansers for acne vulgaris

J Dermatolog Treat. 2010 May;21(3):201-5. doi: 10.3109/09546630903401454.


Background: Acne treatments are sometimes expensive, and mild acne patients need some simpler form of treatment and, thus, the need for easier and cheaper ways of managing acne is increasing.

Methods: An 8-week, double-blind, randomized clinical trial was conducted to determine whether cleansers are effective at producing clinical improvements in patients with acne vulgaris. A total of 13 acne patients applied cleanser A to one half of the face and cleanser B (cleanser A plus triclosan, salicylic acid, and azelaic acid) to the other half, twice daily.

Results: The numbers of inflammatory and non-inflammatory lesions decreased on both sides. A rebound tendency was noted for cleanser A with respect to inflammatory lesions at 4 weeks post-discontinuation, whereas inflammatory lesions continued to decrease on sides treated with cleanser B during this period. However, non-inflammatory lesion counts were not significantly different in the two groups. Though patients were generally satisfied with both treatments, they were more satisfied with cleanser B. Moreover, histopathologic examinations showed a profound decrease in inflammatory reactions in the cleanser B group.

Conclusion: These results show that acne cleansers reduced both inflammatory and non-inflammatory acne lesion counts, and might be helpful for acne treatment.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / diagnosis*
  • Acne Vulgaris / drug therapy*
  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Adult
  • Detergents / therapeutic use*
  • Dicarboxylic Acids
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Papain / therapeutic use
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Probability
  • Salicylic Acid / therapeutic use
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Skin Absorption / drug effects
  • Skin Care / methods*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Triclosan / therapeutic use
  • Young Adult


  • Detergents
  • Dicarboxylic Acids
  • Triclosan
  • Papain
  • azelaic acid
  • Salicylic Acid