Current consensus recommends a combination of topical retinoid and antimicrobial therapy as first-line therapy for almost all patients with acne. The superior efficacy of this combination, compared with either monotherapy, results from complementary mechanisms of action targeting different pathogenic factors. Retinoids reduce abnormal desquamation, are comedolytic, and have some anti-inflammatory effects, whereas benzoyl peroxide is antimicrobial with some keratolytic effects and antibiotics have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects.
For more on the workup of acne, read here.
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Cite this: Scott H. Sicherer, William James, Germaine L. Defendi. Fast Five Quiz: Can You Answer These Challenging Pediatrics Questions? - Medscape - Mar 13, 2017.