Cosmeceuticals Hold Potential in Acne Treatment

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Monday, February 15, 2016

Acne is an unwelcome visitor for teenage girls. But for older women, acne can be a double whammy: It’s often both unwanted and unexpected. “The psychological impact on the adult female is much different than the teenager,” says Hilary E. Baldwin, M.D., medical director of the Acne Treatment and Research Center in Morristown, N.J. To make matters worse, she says, adult women can be more difficult to treat because their faces are less tolerant of irritating treatments, and they’re more prone to inflammation than blackheads. “The estimate is that half of women in their 20s and a quarter in 40s have acne,” Dr. Baldwin says. “Once you have it past the age of 25, it’s highly likely you’ll have it until 45.” Adult women are longtime veterans of cosmetics, and they often turn to cosmeceuticals in search of acne and rosacea relief. But there’s a big problem: “We don’t have a lot of evidence that they can work,” says Julie C. Harper, M.D., of the Dermatology and Skin Care Center of Birmingham in Alabama. “That doesn’t mean they don’t work. We just need big studies.” Drs. Baldwin and Harper spoke about cosmeceuticals and their effects on acne and rosacea at the Orlando Dermatology Aesthetic & Clinical Conference in January. One purpose of cosmeceuticals, like cosmetics, is to improve a person’s appearance. Like drugs, cosmeceuticals also have some biological function. But few studies are performed on cosmeceuticals, Dr. Baldwin says, and the research that does exist tends to be weak, perhaps enlisting only six to eight subjects without blinding or placebos. Read more at Dermatology Times.