Acne vulgaris (acne) is commonly found in adolescents and young adults and presents as open and closed comedones, papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts most frequently affecting the face, neck, and/or trunk.1 Some factors that contribute to successful outcomes in acne treatment are user compliance, availability of product, ease of use, and product cost.
Benzoyl peroxide (BPO), a widely used topical acne treatment, is effective in concentrations ranging from 2.5% to 10%, inclusive.2,3 BPO’s efficacy is multifactorial, with potent bactericidal effects as well as anti-inflammatory and keratolytic activity.3,4 BPO is considered well tolerated, and the most common side effects include concentration-dependent skin irritation and dryness.2,3,5 In the treatment of acne, BPO can be used as monotherapy or in conjunction with other agents, such as topical antibiotics, retinoids, and salicylic acid (SA).2,6,7 SA has keratolytic properties and is well tolerated compared with other topical acne therapies.8 Both BPO and SA are popular products for use as the first-line defense against acne, as they are available without prescription in a variety of concentrations and formulations.8
Although topical single-agent therapy can be effective, combining topical agents with different mechanisms of action often enhances outcomes3,9 and is endorsed by American Academy of Dermatology guidelines.10 Moreover, new vehicle formulations of component products for combination treatment can enhance efficacy, thereby allowing the administration of lower doses while maintaining tolerability and reducing side effects.5
MaxClarity™ (Stiefel Laboratories, Inc, Research Triangle Park, NC) is an over-the-counter (OTC) topical acne treatment system that includes both BPO- and SA-based therapies. This paper discusses 2 randomized studies conducted to compare the efficacy and tolerability of MaxClarity with 2 other OTC topical treatments for mild and moderate acne: Proactiv® (Guthy-Renker, LLC, Santa Monica, CA) (which contains both BPO- and SA-based therapies) and Murad® (Murad, Inc, El Segundo, CA) (which contains BPO).
Trial Design and Participants
Two randomized, evaluator-blinded, split-face studies were conducted in subjects with acne to compare and evaluate the efficacy