Background: Acne vulgaris is a chronic inflammatory disease that usually requires systemic treatment for severe forms. Isotretinoin is the most effective drug in the treatment of acne vulgaris. In this study, we aimed to compare the efficacies of intermittent and continuous low-dose isotretinoin regimens in the treatment of moderate acne vulgaris.
Methods: Sixty patients with moderate acne were included. They were divided into two groups to receive either intermittent or continuous low-dose isotretinoin. All patients were followed up monthly during the treatment period and for at least six months after completion of therapy.
Results: There were no statistically significant differences between the two groups regarding improvement rates at the end of treatments. However, reduction rates in mean acne scores at post-treatment controls were in favor of the continuous low-dose group. During the post-treatment follow-up period, three patients in the intermittent group relapsed, while no relapses were observed in the low-dose group. No significant side effects were observed in any groups.
Conclusions: Both intermittent and continuous low-dose isotretinoin regimens are very well tolerated and effective as classical regimens in the treatment of moderate acne vulgaris. However, a continuous low-dose regimen seems to be slightly superior in terms of patients' compliance to the treatment and lower risk of relapse.
© 2013 The International Society of Dermatology.