How Patients Experience and Manage Dryness and Irritation From Acne Treatment
June 2011 | Volume 10 | Issue 6 | Original Article | 605 | Copyright © June 2011
Steven R. Feldman MD PhDa and Diana M. Chen MDb
aCenter for Dermatology Research, Departments of Dermatology, Pathology and Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC bCoria Laboratories, a division of Valeant Pharmaceuticals, North America, Redwood City, CA
Background: Products that may cause irritation are widely used to treat acne. Irritation has the potential to reduce treatment adherence.
How patients manage irritation and dryness is not well characterized.
Objectives: To study self-reported irritation, its impact and coping mechanisms in patients who had been treated for acne with a clindamycin-5% benzoyl peroxide (BPO) product.
Methods: An Internet-based survey of 200 subjects, aged 15-40 years who had used a clindamycin-5% BPO fixed combination product in the last six months on at least 50 percent of their face, at least five days per week.
Results: The majority of subjects (57%) had moderate acne, 28 percent had severe acne. Bothersome side effects of the clindamycin- 5% BPO combination included dry skin (55%), flaky/peeling skin (45%), irritated skin (44%), itchy skin (39%) and redness (37%). As a result, subjects used the product only as a spot treatment (33%), only when breakouts seemed worse (28%), or less often than recommended (32%); stopped using from time to time (32%); switched to a different prescription medication and/or an over-thecounter acne product (28%); or stopped using altogether (10%). 41 percent of subjects reported using moisturizers to counteract dryness and redness.
Limitations: We queried patients concerning use of combination clindamycin/BPO products and not other products.
Discussion: Irritation to clindamycin-5% BPO is a common problem that reduces patients' use of the medication. Strategies to improve treatment include communication with patients on possible side effects, providing written instruction on how to manage irritation and dryness and consideration of alternative topical treatments and treatment regimens.
J Drugs Dermatol. 2011;10(6):605-608.