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Trial Finds Topical Gel Effective for Facial Acne in Preteens

Tretinoin microsphere gel results in acne severity of mild or clear in 75 percent of subjects

TUESDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- Preteens with mild-to-moderate facial acne respond well to treatment with tretinoin microsphere gel (TMG) without serious adverse effects, according to a small study published online May 24 in Pediatrics.

Lawrence F. Eichenfield, M.D., of the University of California in San Diego, and colleagues provided 40 children (aged 8 to 12) who had mild-to-moderate acne (defined as a value between two and three on the Evaluator's Global Severity Score [EGSS]) with 0.04 percent TMG to be applied to the acne once daily for 12 weeks. The children's acne was evaluated at baseline and at weeks three, six and 12. Study outcomes at week 12 included change in EGSS value, Alternative Evaluator's Global Severity Score (AEGSS), and Investigator's Global Evaluation (IGE).

At week 12, the researchers found that the mean EGSS value had decreased to 2.1 from the baseline value of 2.6, with 75 percent of subjects' acne evaluated as mild or almost clear. On the AEGSS, the mean value decreased to 2.4 from 3.1, while the IGE mean 3.39 score indicated moderate improvement. There were minimal adverse events from treatment, most commonly mild skin irritation in the initial three weeks of using the gel.

"The 0.04 percent TMG pump was effective and safe for the treatment of acne vulgaris in this 8- to 12-year-old population, and the treatment was generally well tolerated. Additional studies in this population are recommended, to confirm these results," the authors write.

One study author reported being an investigator and consultant for Johnson & Johnson Consumer and Personal Products Worldwide, which sponsored the study; another author has been a consultant to OrthoNeutrogena.

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