The role of combination topicals
Acne tends to be a chronic disease, making adherence to therapy important for maintaining outcomes.
Products that contain two agents, whether an antibiotic and benzoyl peroxide or benzoyl peroxide and a topical retinoid, have greater utility and some improved adherence compared to individual agents, alone, according to the guidelines.
The guidelines, however, do not recommend one specific product over another.
Focus on maintenance treatment
Dermatologists might wonder what they should give patients post antibiotic treatment to maintain outcomes. According to the guidelines, there are several studies that have shown that even patients with moderate-to-severe inflammatory acne who have been on oral antibiotics, in conjunction with a topical retinoid and benzoyl peroxide, for three months, maintain results when they continue with just the topicals.
RECOMMENDED: Novel advances in acne therapy
Based on the workgroup’s recommendations, Dr. Zaenglein says she will look closely at how long she keeps her patients on antibiotics for acne.
“It used to be that acne patients were kept on antibiotics for more than a year. Now we know that with a good maintenance routine with a retinoid and topical antimicrobial, like benzoyl peroxide, many of these patients will be able to limit the use of antibiotics to just a few months,” Dr. Zaenglein says.