Topical erythromycin-zinc acetate complex lotion versus topical erythromycin gel in treatment of mild to moderate acne vulgaris


Introduction: Topical antibiotics are the main step in the treatment of mild to moderate acne vulgaris. Erythromycin is one of the effective topical therapies for this disease. Zinc sulfate 5% solution was reported to be effective in treatment of acne vulgaris and rosacea.
Aim: To compare the effectiveness and side effects of topical erythromycin in combination with zinc and erythromycin alone in treatment of mild to moderate acne vulgaris.
Material and Methods: This single, blind, therapeutic, comparative study was done in the Department of Dermatology – Baghdad Teaching Hospital, Baghdad, Iraq; from May 2012 – August 2013.Scoring of acne was carried out and the patients were examined every two weeks for 10 weeks of treatment. One month after stopping drugs, patients were evaluated for drug complications and disease recurrence.
Eighty patients fulfilling enrollment criteria were included in this study. Patients were divided into two groups: Group A (40 patients) treated twice daily with topical erythromycin-zinc complex lotion and Group B (40 patients) treated twice daily with topical 2% erythromycin gel.
Results: Both topical erythromycin-zinc lotion and erythromycin gel were statistically an effective therapy starting after 6 weeks treatment and up to 4 weeks after stopping treatment. Erythromycin-zinc lotion was more effective and act earlier than erythromycin gel starting from 4 weeks of therapy till the end of treatment (after 10 week) and even after 4 weeks after stopping the treatment (p value <0.0001).
Conclusions: Erythromycin-zinc complex lotion was an effective and well tolerated topical therapy for mild to moderate inflammatory acne vulgaris and was more effective than erythromycin gel alone.

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