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The effect on acne quality of life of topical azelaic acid 15% gel versus a combined oral contraceptive in adult female acne: A randomized trial.

DOI: 19381980.2017.1361572  PMCID: PMC5821159  PMID: 29484094  

Acne vulgaris is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the pilosebaceous unit. Recent studies have shown an increasing number of cases of acne in adult women. These cases are predominantly normoandrogenic and have show some clinical differences compared to adolescent acne. In addition to the physical aspects, acne has a strong psychosocial impact and can lead to the onset of signs and symptoms of depression, such as anger. Our objective was to evaluate the effect on acne-specific quality of life in adult women treated with topical azelaic acid versus a combined oral contraceptive. The study population consisted of 38 adult women with acne and without any features of hyperandrogenism recruited from the clinic of Dermatology Hospital Division of São Paulo, Federal University of São Paulo from January 2012 to September 2014. Patients were randomized into two different groups: one receiving containing 20 ug of ethinylestradiol and 3 mg drospirenone in a regimen of 24 days of medication, a combined oral contraceptive (COC), and the other group topical 15% azelaic acid (AA) gel, twice daily, both for six months. The quality of life was evaluated at baseline and end of treatment with an acne specific measure (Acne-QoL). Before treatment, our data revealed a significant impact of the presence of acne on quality of life. Both treatments resulted in improvement with significant statistical values in quality of life scores. Comparing the four domains of Acne-QoL, patients treated with an oral contraceptive showed greater improvement in two domains (self-perception and acne symptoms) than those treated with azelaic acid.

Rocha M,  Sanudo A,  Bagatin E

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