Calcipotriol: A novel tool in treatment of acne vulgaris

Dermatol Ther. 2022 Sep;35(9):e15690. doi: 10.1111/dth.15690. Epub 2022 Jul 13.


Retinoids and active vitamin D3 analogues regulate the proliferation and differentiation of keratinocytes. Retinoids are the main stay in the treatment of acne vulgaris through their comedolytic and anti-inflammatory effects. However, the effect of calcipotriol on the different forms of acne lesions has not been reported. This split face prospective study aimed to detect the efficacy of topical calcipotriol in the treatment of acne lesions in comparison with that of adapalene. Forty patients with acne vulgaris were treated with topical calcipotriol (0.005%) cream and 0.1% adapalene gel on the right and left sides of the face respectively. Clinical and histological assessment of the used treatments was done 2 months after the start of treatment. Two months after treatment, there was significant reduction of all acne lesions with significant decrease of physician global assessment and patient global assessment scores (p = 0.0001) on both sides of the face with no significant difference between both sides. Histologically, there was significant decrease in the density of inflammatory infiltrate, which was more significant on the right side (p < 0.0001). Topical calcipotriol can serve a significant role in the treatment of acne vulgaris, through its anti-inflammatory effect which was comparable to that of adapalene.

Keywords: acne vulgaris; adapalene; calcipotriol; split face.

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris* / diagnosis
  • Acne Vulgaris* / drug therapy
  • Acne Vulgaris* / pathology
  • Adapalene
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Calcitriol / analogs & derivatives
  • Dermatologic Agents*
  • Gels / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retinoids
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Gels
  • Retinoids
  • calcipotriene
  • Adapalene
  • Calcitriol