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Derm News: 2007.3(4)

Treatment of acne vulgaris without antibiotics: tertiary amine-benzoyl peroxide combination vs. benzoyl peroxide alone (Proactiv Solution)

International Journal of Dermatology 46 (1), 89-93.
Craig G. Burkhart MPHMD, Craig N. Burkhart


Concerns have arisen over the development of antibiotic-resistant organisms due to the prolonged use of oral and topical antibiotics in acne vulgaris. We have previously demonstrated that benzoyl peroxide used in consort with a chemical with an accessible tertiary amine, such as an allylamine, increases radical activity and biological effect.


The purpose of this pilot study was to assess the efficacy of two nonantibiotic topical remedies for mild to moderate acne, with one of the agents being a combination of benzoyl peroxide with butenifine, an allylamine.


In an open-label, patient-satisfaction, 8-week comparative study, 23 patients demonstrating mild to moderate facial acne were given randomly either benzoyl peroxide in Proactiv Solution or the combination of benzoyl peroxide with an allylamine.


The allylamine-benzoyl peroxide combination therapy outperformed Proactiv Solution during each 2-week stage of evaluation in terms of reduction of comedones, inflammatory lesions, and degree of oiliness. There was a marked preference for the allylamine-benzoyl peroxide combination in terms of patient satisfaction.


Benzoyl peroxide used in consort with antimicrobial agents that contain an accessible tertiary amine, such as erythromycin, has previously been shown to increase radical activity and biological effect. Trials of short duration with small numbers of patients do not adequately inform practitioners about whether the combination of allylamines with benzoyl peroxide is a viable alternative to topical antibiotic therapy for acne. Nevertheless, the higher satisfaction with the allylamine-benzoyl peroxide combination certainly warrants further investigation.

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The Derm News service provided by the Editorial Consultants of Skin Therapy Letter© and its founding editor Dr. Stuart Maddin.