Beneficial Effect of a Moisturizing Cream as Adjunctive Treatment to Oral Isotretinoin or Topical Tretinoin in the Management of Acne

November 2006 | Volume 5 | Issue 10 | Original Article | 985 | Copyright © November 2006

Sabine Laquieze MD, Janusz Czernielewski MD, Marie-José Rueda MD

Despite their beneficial effects on the treatment of acne vulgaris, topical and oral retinoids may cause severe local irritation (retinoid dermatitis) due to their mechanism of action, thereby jeopardizing patient adherence, and thus compromising treatment efficacy. Alleviating dryness and improving skin comfort by using a moisturizer concomitantly to retinoids could enhance efficacy. In the present study, 30 subjects receiving either oral isotretinoin for at least 2 months or topical tretinoin for at least one month applied a moisturizing cream (Cetaphil® Moisturizing Cream) twice daily for 15 days on one half of the face while the other side remained untreated. Clinical assessments, confirmed by biophysical measurements, showed that the moisturizer provided a significant improvement in skin dryness, roughness, and desquamation. Skin properties and skin discomfort were also greatly improved and subjects were very satisfied with the product. Retinoid-induced skin irritation can be relieved by the regular use of a gentle moisturizing cream as an adjunctive treatment.