Background: Ketoconazole is a typical treatment available for pityriasis versicolor; tretinoin cream is effective, too. Adapalene gel is a tretinoin derivative and has a lower incidence of irritation compared with other topical retinoid products. However, there are no reports on adapalene gel for the treatment of pityriasis versicolor. Objective: To study the effect of adapalene gel comparing the treatment with adapalene gel and 2% ketoconazole cream in pityriasis versicolor. Methods: Eighty patients suffering from pityriasis versicolor were randomly divided into two groups; one group were treated with 2% ketoconazole cream topically twice daily for 2 weeks, adapalene gel was used for the other group in a similar fashion. Results: There were no significant differences in efficacy between the two groups. No major side effects were noted in any of the groups either. Conclusion: Adapalene was the favorable option in the treatment of pityriasis versicolor. The probable therapeutic mechanism of adapalene is also discussed.

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