Background: Adapalene and tretinoin are topical compounds active for treating acne. Objective: To compare the efficacity and safety of adapalene 0.1% gel and tretinoin 0.05% gel in moderately severe facial acne using clinical and objective biometrological assessments. Such information is currently lacking in the literature. Methods: The split-face method was used in 25 acne volunteers for a 6-week treatment. In addition to clinical counts of lesions, the amount of comedones was assessed using computer-assisted morphometry of cyanoacrylate follicular biopsies. The erythema index and squamometry values were used to quantitate skin irritation. Results: The tretinoin formulation brought better comedolysis and clinical improvement than the adapalene formulation. Erythema was transiently more pronounced on the tretinoin-treated side. Squamometry yielded no significant difference between both products. Conclusion: Tretinoin 0.05% gel exhibits a greater anti-acne efficacy than adapalene 0.1% gel, although with temperate tolerability.

1.
Kligman AM, Fulton JE, Plewig G: Topical vitamin A acid in acne vulgaris. Arch Dermatol 1969;99:469–476.
2.
Webster GF: Topical tretinoin in acne therapy. J Am Acad Dermatol 1998;39:S38–S44.
3.
Verschoore M, Langner A, Wolska M, Jablonska S, Czernielewski J: Vehicle controlled study of CD271 lotion in the topical treatment of acne vulgaris. J Invest Dermatol 1993;100: 221.
4.
Weiss JS, Shavin JS: Adapalene for the treatment of acne vulgaris. J Am Acad Dermatol 1998;39:S50–S54.
5.
Alirezai M, Meynadier J, Jablonska S, Czernielewski J, Verschoore M: Etude comparative de l’efficacité et de la tolérance de gels d’adapalène à 0,1 et 0,3 p. 100 et d’un gel de trétinoïne à 0,025 p. 100 dans le traitement de l’acné. Ann Dermatol Vénéréol 1996;123:165– 170.
6.
Shalita A, Weiss JS, Chalker DK, Ellis CN, Greenspan A, Katz HI, Kantor I, Millikan LE, Swinehart T, Swinyer L, Whitmore C, Baker M, Czernielewski J: A comparison of the efficacy and safety of adapalene gel 0.1% and tretinoin gel 0.025% in the treatment of acne vulgaris: A multicenter trial. J Am Acad Dermatol 1996;34:482–485.
7.
Caron D, Sorba V, Kerrouche N, Clucas A: Split-face comparison of adapalene 0.1% gel and tretinoin 0.025% gel in acne patients. J Am Acad Dermatol 1997;36:S110–S112.
8.
Clucas A, Verschoore M, Sorba V, Poncet M, Baker M, Czernielewski J: Adapalene 0.1% gel is better tolerated than tretinoin 0.025% gel in acne patients. J Am Acad Dermatol 1997; 36:S116–S118.
9.
Cunliffe WJ, Caputo R, Dreno B, Förström L, Heenen M, Orfanos CE, Privat Y, Robledo Aguilar A, Meynadier J, Alirezai M, Jablonska S, Shalita A, Weiss JS, Chalker DK, Ellis CN, Greenspan A, Katz HI, Kantor I, Millikan LE, Swinehart JM, Swinyer L, Whitmore C, Czernielewski J, Verschoore M: Clinical efficacy and safety comparison of adapalene gel and tretinoin gel in the treatment of acne vulgaris: Europe and US multicenter trials. J Am Acad Dermatol 1997;36:S126–S134.
10.
Cunliffe WJ, Caputo R, Dreno B, Förström L, Heenen M, Orfanos CE, Privat Y, Robledo Aguilar A, Poncet M, Verschoore M: Efficacy and safety comparison of adapalene (CD271) gel and tretinoin gel in the topical treatment of acne vulgaris. A European multicentre trial. J Dermatol Treat 1997;8:173–178.
11.
Dunlap FE, Mills OH, Tuley MR, Baker MD, Plott RT: Adapalene 0.1% gel for the treatment of acne vulgaris: Its superiority compared to tretinoin 0.025% cream in skin tolerance and patient preference. Br J Dermatol 1998;139 (suppl 2):17–22.
12.
Grosshans E, Marks R, Mascaro JM, Torras H, Meynadier J, Alirezai M, Finlay AY, Soto P, Poncet M, Verschoore M, Clucas A: Evaluation of clinical efficacy and safety of adapalene 0.1% gel versus tretinoin 0.025% gel in the treatment of acne vulgaris, with particular reference to the onset of action and impact on quality of life. Br J Dermatol 1998;139 (suppl 2):26–33.
13.
Galvin SA, Gilbert R, Baker M, Guibal F, Tuley MR: Comparative tolerance of adapalene 0.1% gel and six different tretinoin formulations. Br J Dermatol 1998;139(suppl 2):34–40.
14.
Cunliffe WJ, Poncet M, Loesche C, Verschoore M: A comparison of the efficacy and tolerability of adapalene 0.1% gel versus tretinoin 0.025% gel in patients with acne vulgaris: A meta-analysis of five randomized trials. Br J Dermatol 1998;139(suppl 2):48–56.
15.
Hjorth N: Indications of vitamin A acid treatment in acne vulgaris. Acta Derm Venereol (Stockh) 1976;55(suppl 74):116–118.
16.
Piérard GE, Piérard-Franchimont C: Drugs and cosmetics evaluations with skin strippings; in Maibach H (ed): Dermatologic Research Techniques. Boca Raton, CRC Press, 1996, pp 133–148.
17.
Piérard GE, Masson P, Rodrigues L, Berardesca E, Lévêque JL, Loden M, Rogiers V, Sauermann G, Serup J: EEMCO guidance for the assessment of dry skin (xerosis) and ichthyosis: Evaluation by stratum corneum strippings. Skin Res Technol 1996;2:3–11.
18.
Holmes RL, Williams M, Cunliffe WJ: Pilosebaceous duct obstruction and acne. Br J Dermatol 1972;87:327–332.
19.
Mills OH, Kligman AM: A human model for assaying comedolytic substances. Br J Dermatol 1982;107:543–548.
20.
Mills OH, Kligman AM: The follicular biopsy. Dermatologica 1983;167:57–63.
21.
Piérard-Franchimont C, Piérard GE: Assessment of aging and actinic damage by cyanoacrylate skin surface strippings. Am J Dermatopathol 1987;9:500–509.
22.
Groh DG, Mills OH, Kligman AM: Quantitative assessment of cyanoacrylate follicular biopsies by image analysis. J Soc Cosmet Chem 1992;43:101–112.
23.
Pagnoni A, Kligman AM, El Gammal S, Stoudemayer T: Determination of density of follicles on various regions of the face by cyanoacrylate biopsy: Correlation with sebum output. Br J Dermatol 1994;131:862–865.
24.
Piérard GE, Piérard-Franchimont C, Goffin V: Digital image analysis of microcomedones. Dermatology 1995;190:99–103.
25.
Piérard GE, Nikkels-Tassoudji N, Goffin V, Gaspard U, Slachmuylders P, Lacante P: Acne improvement in young women using a low-dose triphasic oral contraceptive containing gestodene and ethinylestradiol (Tri-Minulet). Interim evaluation of an open, non-controlled clinical study combined with objective biometrological methods. Gynecol Endocrinol 1996;10:S61–S66.
26.
Letawe C, Boone M, Piérard GE: Digital image analysis of the effect of topically applied linoleic acid on acne microcomedones. Clin Exp Dermatol 1998;23:56–58.
27.
Piérard GE: EEMCO guidance for the assessment of skin colour. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 1998;10:1–11.
28.
Piérard GE, Piérard-Franchimont C, Saint Léger D, Kligman AM: Squamometry: The assessment of xerosis by colorimetry of D-Squame adhesive discs. J Soc Cosmet Chem 1992;47:297–305.
29.
Piérard GE, Piérard-Franchimont C: Squamometry in acute photodamage. Skin Res Technol 1995;1:137–139.
30.
Letawe C, Piérard-Franchimont C, Piérard GE: Squamometry in rating the efficacy of topical corticosteroids in atopic dermatitis. Eur J Clin Pharmacol 1996;51:253–258.
31.
Piérard-Franchimont C, Goffin V, Piérard GE: Modulation of human stratum corneum properties by salicylic acid and all-trans-retinoic acid. Skin Pharmacol Appl Skin Physiol 1998;11: 266–272.
32.
Lucky AW, Biro FN, Hustar GA, Leach AD, Morrison JA, Ratterman J: Acne vulgaris in premenarchal girls. Arch Dermatol 1994;130: 308–314.
33.
Griffiths CEM, Ancian P, Humphries J, Poncet M, Rizova E, Michel S, Clucas A: Adapalene 0.1% gel and adapalene 0.1% cream stimulate retinoic acid receptor mediated gene transcription without significant irritative effects in the skin of healthy human volunteers. Br J Dermatol 1998;139(suppl 2):12–16.
Copyright / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer
Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.
You do not currently have access to this content.