What is the best treatment for mild to moderate acne?

Shobha Rao, Mehreen A. Malik, Laura Wilder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Acne vulgaris is the most common cutaneous disorder, affecting about 45 million people in the United States. Five to 6 million acne-related visits are made to physicians in outpatient offices each year. For mild noninflammatory (comedonal) acne, the preferred option is monotherapy with topical retinoids. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have proven the efficacy of tretinoin, an older retinoid for comedonal acne. In one RCT, patients were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 treatment groups, each having 33 enrollees: patients in the first group received 0.1% tazarotene gel as twice daily application; the second group received 0.1% tazarotene gel in the evening and vehicle gel in the morning; the third group received vehicle gel twice daily. By 12 weeks, the first and second groups achieved significantly greater improvement in acne than the third group, based on mean percentage reduction in noninflammatory lesions (46% and 41% vs 2%; P=.002) and inflammatory lesions (38% and 34% vs 9%; P=.01). Another 12-week RCT of 237 patients with mild to moderate acne demonstrated superior efficacy with 0.1% adapalene cream over placebo (P

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)994-996
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Family Practice
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2006
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Rao, S., Malik, M. A., & Wilder, L. (2006). What is the best treatment for mild to moderate acne? Journal of Family Practice, 55(11), 994-996.