Eficacy of trichloroacetic acid peel versus 15% topical azelaic acid gel in the treatment of acne vulgaris – a comparative study

DOI: 10.1515/amma-2015-0014

Objectives: The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy and tolerability of 20% trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peel with 15% azelaic acid gel, a standard antiacne topical treatment.
Materials and methods: 51 patients aged between 16-40 years, with mild and moderate acne, were randomized into two groups. Before the treatment were investigated the patients clinical features and hygienic habits, the previous antiacne treatments and feed-back to them. No cases under treatment with contraceptive pills or antiacne medication that could interfere with the results, were included. For a period of eight weeks, 27 patients (group A) were treated with 15% azelaic acid gel, twice daily, and 24 patients (group B) underwent four sessions of 20% TCA peels, at 14 days interval. The efficacy was evaluated by acne lesions counting, at baseline and at 8 weeks. Adverse effects incidence (erythema, local skin irritation), as well as the satisfaction degree of patients, were investigated.
Results: Was observed a mean reduction in the number of acne lesions of 32,36% for the group A and 69,36% for the group B. There was no statistically significant difference between the average number of acne lesions before treatment between the two groups. The mean number of acne lesions after the treatment was significantly different (p<0,0001), 20% TCA peels showed superior results than 15% azelaic acid gel. Additionally, 96% of patients who underwent TCA peels were very satisfied with the results obtained.
Conclusions: TCA peel is an efficient and well tolerated method for the treatment of acne vulgaris.

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