Part 2: Topical Therapies

In part 1 of this 3-part series, an overview of the epidemiology, visible patterns, and important considerations for clinical and laboratory evaluation of acne vulgaris (AV) in adult women was provided. Proper selection and integration of skin care products is important in the management of AV in this patient population. Part 2 of this series includes a discussion of over-the-counter and prescription topical therapies for adult women with AV. A summary of key randomized controlled trials also is provided. Further well-designed studies are needed, as data on the use of topical agents in this subpopulation are limited.

Cutis. 2015 November;96(5):321-325.

James Q. Del Rosso, DO; Julie C. Harper, MD; Emmy M. Graber, MD, MBA; Diane Thiboutot, MD; Nanette B. Silverberg, MD; Lawrence F. Eichenfield, MD

Proper skin care is an important component in the management of AV in adult women. Data for topical therapies in this subpopulation are limited; however, post hoc analyses provide some information regarding their efficacy in treating mixed pattern AV. More well-designed studies are needed to better evaluate the use of topical agents in adult women with AV. Although most topical AV therapies appear to be safe for use during pregnancy when properly used and limited to facial application, their use in women of childbearing potential and during pregnancy warrants individual consideration; topical retinoids are best avoided during pregnancy, especially tazarotene, which is rated category X. In part 3 of this series, oral therapies used to treat AV in adult women will be discussed.