Pilot Investigation of the Hydrating Effects of Topical Acne Medications

August 2007 | Volume 6 | Issue 8 | Original Article | 810 | Copyright © August 2007

Yaxian Zhen MD PhD, Marianne Stoudemayer RN, George Vamvakias, Albert M. Kligman MD PhD

Topical therapies are effective in managing acne vulgaris but are associated with local adverse effects such as irritation and dryness. This 4-week pilot study compared skin hydration in 36 healthy adult women randomized to treatment with 1 of 4 topical therapies: 2 different (jar and tube) clindamycin 1%/benzoyl peroxide 5% gels, sodium sulfacetamide 10% lotion, or over-the-counter (OTC) moisturizing cream. Subjects treated with OTC moisturizer or sodium sulfacetamide exhibited decreased water loss, increased water retention, similar or improved levels of skin hydration, and decreased desorption rates. In contrast, subjects treated with jar or tube clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide had increased water loss, decreased water retention, decreased hydration, and increased desorption rates. Skin dryness decreased slightly in the moisturizer group. No serious adverse events occurred. Overall, the OTC moisturizer had the best skin hydration profile. Sodium sulfacetamide demonstrated some moisturizing characteristics, and no clinically relevant differences were noted between jar and tube clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide gels.