Acne scarring is a common side effect. The goal was to see how adapalene 0.3 percent/benzoyl peroxide 2.5 percent gel treated atrophic scars in moderate to severe acne vulgaris for up to 48 weeks. Part 1 of this two-part trial involved applying A0.3/BPO2.5 gel or vehicle to each half-face for 24 weeks in a randomized, investigator-blinded, split-face design. Part 2 consisted of a 24-week open-label extension phase in which A0.3/BPO2.5 gel was administered to both sides of the face. The investigator’s atrophic acne scar count, Scar Global Assessment (SGA), acne lesion count, local tolerability, and safety were all evaluated. The 48-week study was completed by 41 of the 45 individuals who started Part 2. The majority of the individuals had moderate acne with modest scarring at the start. On the half-face treated for 48 weeks with A0.3/BPO2.5, the scar count decreased by 21.7 percent at week 24 and 26.9 percent at week 48. Scar count rose by 16.7 percent at week 24 and decreased by 22.7 percent between weeks 24 and 48 for the half-face treated with vehicle followed by 24 weeks of A0.3/BPO2.5. The half-face treated with A0.3/BPO2.5 for 48 weeks showed a lower final atrophic scar count and a greater proportion of SGA clean/almost clear. Both sides of the face experienced significant decreases in acne lesions between baseline and week 48.

Reductions in atrophic acne scars and acne lesions reported after 24 weeks of therapy with A0.3/BPO2.5 gel were sustained for up to 48 weeks of treatment. The increased improvement in atrophic scar count after 48 weeks of A0.3/BPO2.5 treatment compared to the delayed application at 24 weeks emphasizes the necessity of starting effective acne treatment as soon as possible to prevent and minimize the formation of acne scars.