Treatment of mild to moderate acne with a fixed combination of hydroxypinacolone retinoate, retinol glycospheres and papain glycospheres

G Ital Dermatol Venereol. 2015 Apr;150(2):143-7.


Aim: A fixed combination of 0.1% hydroxypinacolone retinoate (synthetic esther of 9-cis-retinoic acid), 1% retinol in glycospheres and 2% papain in glycospheres in aqueous gel has been recently introduced into the Italian market in order to reduce the incidence and severity of irritant contact dermatitis caused by topical retinoids, without compromising their efficacy. Primary objectives of this sponsor-free, pilot, open, multicenter study were to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of this gel in patients with comedonal-papular, mild to moderate acne of the face.

Methods: Ninety-eight Caucasian patients (28 males and 70 females), with an age ranging from 15 to 40 years, were treated with the gel once daily for 12 weeks. Acne severity and treatment efficacy were evaluated by means of the Global Acne Grading System (GAGS) and lesions count.

Results: Ninety-four patients were considered evaluable. A 41% mean reduction in the GAGS score was observed; a 40.8% mean reduction of total lesions was recorded; 15.3% of patients experienced mild to moderate local side effects (dryness, peeling, erythema, burning). No patients stopped the treatment because of these side effects.

Conclusion: This study, based on a high number of evaluable patients, demonstrates that this fixed combination is an effective and safe option for the treatment of comedonal-papular, mild to moderate acne of the face. A controlled clinical study is necessary to confirm these data.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / drug therapy*
  • Acne Vulgaris / pathology
  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Butanones / administration & dosage
  • Butanones / adverse effects
  • Butanones / therapeutic use*
  • Dermatologic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Dermatologic Agents / adverse effects
  • Dermatologic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Combinations
  • Female
  • Gels
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Papain / administration & dosage
  • Papain / adverse effects
  • Papain / therapeutic use*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Retinoids / administration & dosage
  • Retinoids / adverse effects
  • Retinoids / therapeutic use*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vitamin A / administration & dosage
  • Vitamin A / adverse effects
  • Vitamin A / therapeutic use*
  • Young Adult


  • Butanones
  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Drug Combinations
  • Gels
  • Retinoids
  • Vitamin A
  • pinacolone
  • Papain