Acne therapies of late have come from grape-derived resveratrol, conventional benzoyl peroxide and tetracycline.
A topical drug
TetraStem is a liquid antibiotic made with 3% tetracycline. What’s new is the company’s yet-to-be-patented dual carrier transdermal delivery technique. Besides acne, the ViaDerm product is intended for psoriasis, eczema, burns, infections and other wounds.
The company reports having tested the treatment but hasn’t shared any quantitative results, simply that “The subjects have been pleased with the results.”
A diverse and global market
The American Academy of Dermatology reports that over half of women older than 25 have facial acne. Prominent brands including Clinique are responding to reach such consumers. This past spring that company renamed its ‘spot healing gel’ as ‘clinical clearing gel.’
“Consumers are forever seeking to perfect the look of their skin, but so many struggle with acne on a daily basis. Over 90% of the population will at some time during their lives be affected,” explained Dr. Paul Mouser of Ashland.
The global market for acne care is projected to be at $3.02bn by 2016, according to Research and Markets. This figure integrates the personal care industry and the pharmaceuticals industry.
Acne treatment advances
Recent research suggests that resveratrol, a grape-derivative, will be the next big thing in acne treatment formulations. An article, describing studies done at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and published in the online edition of the journal Dermatology and Therapy, outlines how the compound improves the effect benzoyl peroxide. In combination, the benzoyl peroxide kills acne bacteria and the resveratrol inhibits its growth.
Health and legal concerns
In June of this year the FDA issued a warning to consumers regarding over-the-counter acne treatments because “topical acne products can cause rare but serious and potentially life-threatening allergic reactions or severe irritation,” stated the notice.
“Based on information reported to FDA, we cannot determine if the serious hypersensitivity reactions were triggered by the acne products’ active ingredients, benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, the inactive ingredients, or by a combination of both. The hypersensitivity reactions may occur within minutes to a day or longer after product use.”
On the heels of this warning, personal care industry lawyer Angela Diesch clarified, the “FDA is now suggesting that manufacturers also warn new users to first test a small area of skin of 3-days before using [acne treatments] as directed.”
And, she advised that companies take care to 1) make sure they are in compliance with the final monograph issued by the FDA, and 2) update their labels to incorporate the new precaution.
Men’s unique skin
ViaDerm acknowledges that men’s skin and hormonal experiences mean they will likely have more acne and more need for treatment products.
“While both genders are affected by acne, higher levels of testosterone in men often lead to a higher prevalence of acne sufferers during adolescence and young adulthood. An increase in hormones called androgens, which are in both genders, also correspond with increased acne,” ViaDerm wrote in a press release.