aczoneA smattering of members of have tried Dapsone, a prescription anti-inflammatory medication which is best known as an oral medication for treating leprosy but is also prescribed topically in 5% concentration by the brand name Aczone. When taken orally, Dapsone comes with a host of worrying side effects, but when administered topically for acne, patients tend to suffer very few side effects. That is all well and good, but from the research that is coming in, it doesn’t seem to work very well, at least in the short term. Two studies have been performed recently on topical Dapsone. The first was a 12 week study which reported a 39% reduction in inflammatory acne. This is obviously not ultra-impressive, but when you consider that the placebo group experienced a 32% reduction, it becomes even less earth shattering. The second study was also a 12 week study which reported a 49% reduction in women and a 34% reduction in men. This is somewhat better news for women but the medication was still unable to even cut acne symptoms in half.

Longer term therapy: I spoke to a dermatologist a few years back who likes to prescribe Dapsone to her patients and claims that results only come after about the 3 month (12 week) mark. Therefore, I would like to see a study performed for a longer period of time.

Combination therapy: While Dapsone alone may not provide for sufficient clearing of acne, it may be prescribed alongside other drugs such as benzoyl peroxide or topical retinoids.

Have any of you guys taken Dapsone for longer than 3 months? How did it go?


  • Tan J. “Dapsone 5% Gel – A New Option in Topical Therapy for Acne.” Skin Therapy Letter. 2012; 17(8): 1-3.


Leave a Reply

  • lilk

    W H E R E are these acne studies done?How may I get in one ?

  • Sascha

    I used Aczone in conjunction with a retinoid and it did diddly squat for my acne or the inflammation. I was on it for about 4 months

  • Gingi

    Great site Dan. Need to point out that Dapsone is contraindicated with Benzoyl Peroxide. It can cause yellow/orange skin discoloration. Trying it now with Differin. After 20+ years of cystic acne treated with Accutane (2x), minocycline, sulfa, every retinoid under there sun, etc. etc. my derm thought it was worth a shot after a recent flare required cortisone injections. Just a few days in. So far don’t mind the texture and glad there’s no scent, no improvement in my skin. It’s an especially difficult battle to deal with cystic acne and sensitive skin. 🙁

  • Anonymous

    I’ve used aczone in combination with plexion cleanser, and Acanya gel. I cleanse morning and night with plexion, use acanya in the morning, and aczone at night. As I used aczone in combination with the other two products I’m not sure whether it is effective on it’s own but it aided in completely clearing up my skin from a pretty angry acne flare out and has helped to keep me clear for over a year now.