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GP spells out TV winner's future

Cheap topical acne treatments are just as effective as antibiotics and should be used first-line to save money and reduce bacterial resistance, research-ers conclude.

An NHS-funded study found twice-daily 5 per cent benzoyl peroxide was the most cost-effective of five 18-week treatment regimes examined. Benzoyl peroxide, available OTC, was 12 times as cost-effective as daily 100mg oral minocycline.

No antibiotics worked significantly better than benzoyl peroxide and tetracyclines sometimes worked less well because of resistance.

Researcher Professor Tony Avery, professor of primary health care at the University of Nottingham, said: 'Minocyclin is 12 times more expensive than benzoyl peroxide so you would expect it to be more effective. There was very little difference.'

Professor Avery, who also works as a GP in Nottingham, added: 'Given that simple topical treatments work well it's worth using them first-line, especially given antibiotic resistance.'

The research, involving 649 patients, was published in The Lancet (December 19).

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