What Is It?
Often known by its brand name, AczoneⓇ, dapsone is a topical medication called a sulfone antibiotic that works primarily by decreasing inflammation in the skin and also suppresses the growth of acne bacteria.
Strength of Evidence
Average 53% reduction in acne after 12 weeks
- Wahida, F. et al. Efficacy and safety of once-daily dapsone 7.5% gel monotherapy for mild to moderate acne vulgaris: A comparative study with adapalene 0.1% gel monotherapy. J Ban Acad Dermatol 2, 11–16 (2022).
- Verma, R., Yadav, P., Chudhari, M., Patel, J. & Umrigar, D. Comparison of efficacy of two topical drug therapy of acne vulgaris - 1% clindamycin versus 5% dapsone: A split face comparative study. Natl J Physiol Pharm Pharmacol 1 (2022) doi:10.5455/njppp.2022.12.03100202221042022.
- Moore, A. Y. et al. Once-daily dapsone 7.5% gel for the treatment of acne vulgaris in preadolescent patients: a phase IV, open-label, 12-week study. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol 14, 43–48 (2021).
- Islam, R., Islam, N. & Hossain, M. M. An assessment of the efficacy and safety of dapsone gel: Study in a local setting. Sch J App Med Sci 9, 549–553 (2021).
- Del Rosso, J. Q., Kircik, L. & Tanghetti, E. Truncal acne vulgaris with topical dapsone 7.5% gel. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol 11, 45–50 (2018).
- Ibrahim, S. A., Ghonemy, S. & Sabry, H. A study of the efficacy of 5% dapsone gel as a topical therapy for acne vulgaris. Journal of Clinical & Experimental Dermatology Research 08, (2017).
- Stein Gold, L. F. et al. Efficacy and safety of once-daily dapsone gel, 7.5% for treatment of adolescents and adults with acne vulgaris: first of two identically designed, large, multicenter, randomized, vehicle-controlled trials. J Drugs Dermatol 15, 553–561 (2016).
- Eichenfield, L. F. et al. Efficacy and safety of once-daily dapsone gel, 7.5% for treatment of adolescents and adults with acne vulgaris: second of two identically designed, large, multicenter, randomized, vehicle-controlled trials. J Drugs Dermatol 15, 962–969 (2016).
- Alexis, A. F. et al. The efficacy and safety of topical dapsone gel, 5% for the treatment of acne vulgaris in adult females with skin of color. J Drugs Dermatol 15, 197–204 (2016).
- Lucky, A. W. et al. Dapsone gel 5% for the treatment of acne vulgaris: safety and efficacy of long-term (1 year) treatment. J Drugs Dermatol 6, 981–987 (2007).
- Draelos, Z. D. et al. Two randomized studies demonstrate the efficacy and safety of dapsone gel, 5% for the treatment of acne vulgaris. J Am Acad Dermatol 56, 439.e1–10 (2007).
Low-medium side effects and adverse reactions
Acne.org's Real World Take
An anti-inflammatory that takes weeks or months to kick in, so you’ll need patience. Provides modest benefit in some users. It’s never hit the big time in acne treatment. But it’s an interesting way to target acne on a purely inflammation level.