NEW YORK — New treatments for acne, including the recent FDA approval of a topical gel that combines an antibiotic, a retinoid, and an antimicrobial agent, and reports on the safe use of lasers in people with darker skin types, were presented at the 26th annual Mount Sinai Winter Symposium – Advances in Medical and Surgical Dermatology.
Also highlighted were recommendations regarding antibiotic stewardship and consideration of a treatment’s beneficial effects beyond 12 weeks.
“Patients want clear skin and many don’t care how they get there. I see patients who have been on minocycline [a broad-spectrum antibiotic] for 2 years; this is really not the best way to treat our patients,” said Joshua Zeichner, MD, associate professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, who reviewed the current state of acne treatments at the meeting.
Patients often do not care about the risk of developing antibiotic resistance, he noted, citing a survey (funded by Almirall and presented at a previous conference), which found that less than 10% of adult patients or caregivers of patients being treated for acne were moderately or extremely worried about antibiotics compared with more than 65% of the clinicians. But despite their concerns, nearly 60% of clinicians surveyed reported prescribing broad-spectrum antibiotics “most” or “all of the time,” he said.
Zeichner said that patients’ short-term wishes overriding dermatologists’ own concerns can lead to antibiotic resistance, with a negative impact on patients’ microbiomes. He encouraged prescribers to incorporate sarecycline and other narrow spectrum antibiotics into their practice as part of antibiotic stewardship. These drugs have less of an impact on the gut microbiome than broad spectrum antibiotics, while targeting the patient’s acne.
Zeichner noted that “acne is more than a 12-week disease,” but manufacturers of acne treatments can only market information based on what is in the product labeling, which usually includes 12-week results. Yet, for many acne treatments, “as you continue treating over time, you’re seeing much better improvements,” he said.
As an example, he referred to data from an unpublished phase 4 Galderma study. Patients aged 17-35 years with acne and scarring who were treated with trifarotene cream demonstrated about a 52% rate of success in acne clearance as measured by the Investigator Global Assessment (IGA) at 24 weeks, up from 31.4% at 12 weeks, highlighting the need to consider long-term data, which is helpful for patients to know, he said.
Zeichner noted that many patients and their caregivers are enthusiastic about the idea of treatment that does not involve pharmaceuticals and that these options, while not “silver bullets,” are available and advancing.
These include light-based devices. He referred to a 7-week, open label efficacy and safety study of a photo-pneumatic device with broadband light (Strata Skin Sciences). This device uses thermal heat to target and destroy Cutibacterium acnes and reduce sebum production and has a vacuum feature that removes occlusive material from the pilosebaceous unit, which he said “leads directly to a reduction in acne lesions.”
Of note is the fact that the device’ filters out visible wavelength light, which minimizes absorption by melanin in the epidermis that can damage darker skin, making the treatment safe for most skin types. In the study of patients with mild to moderate facial acne, aged 12-40 years, treatment resulted in significant reductions Iin mean inflammatory and noninflammatory lesion counts, and mean IGA score at day 49 compared with baseline.
Similarly, Zeichner presented a 2022 study demonstrating the use of higher spectrum lasers (a 1726-nm [nanometer] laser) to shrink sebaceous glands and reduce sebum production to treat acne. In addition, lasers that operate at such a high frequency do not cause hyperpigmentation in individuals with darker skin types, he said.
Zeichner disclosed that he an advisor, consultant, or speaker for AbbVie, Allergan, Arcutis, Beiersdorf, Dermavant, Galderma, Kenvue, L’Oreal, Ortho, Pfizer, Regeneron, UCB, and Sun.
Myles Starr in a medical journalist based in New York City.
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Publish date : 2023-12-05 01:05:58
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