Novel acne treatments clear skin with fewer side effects

Novel acne treatments clear skin with fewer side effects

By Thais Langer

Current acne treatments can be accompanied by undesirable side effects such as skin dryness, peeling, redness, and burning, resulting in patient dropout before significant results can be seen. First-line therapies include topical prescription and over-the-counter products (benzoyl peroxide, retinoids), systemic and topical antibiotics (doxycycline, tetracycline, clindamycin and erythromycin), and hormonal therapies (oral contraceptives), alone or in combination. 

New therapy options that are recently available or in the pipeline may offer better options to consumers suffering from moderate to severe acne. Among these, new drug-delivery systems like retinyl palmitate-loaded hydrogel and nanocarrier-based technology are in development. 

Here, we highlight the three emerging acne treatments recently approved to market.

Three novel acne therapies on the market:

Among new actives and formulations being introduced to the market, foam-based minocycline, topical antiandrogens, and microbiome-based microencapsulation treatment are some of the most promising options already available to consumers. 

Foam-based minocycline:

Oral minocycline — a tetracycline-class antibiotic — is already considered the first-line treatment for moderate to severe acne. However, minocycline topical foam 4% (Amzeeq, Vyne Therapeutics) is a novel non-systemic formulation that is safe to use by patients nine years of age and older. In addition, minocycline is less susceptible to resistance than other topical antibiotics and shows mild side effects. Because it is a topical antibiotic, it is available under prescription.

Topical antiandrogens:

Clascoterone 1% cream (Winlevi, Cassiopea) is a novel first-in-class topical androgen receptor inhibitor that has been approved by the FDA and is the first new treatment option for acne in almost 40 years. Because androgens play a crucial role in acne by regulating sebum production, blocking androgen receptors can inhibit lipid secretion and reduce inflammation in sebocytes — the cells involved in acne pathogenesis. Two phase 3 randomized clinical trials showed safe and effective results for patients 12 years of age and older. The treatment has been available to use under prescription in the United States since early 2021.

Microbiome-based microencapsulation treatment:

Yun Probiotherapy developed a water-based topical treatment containing microcapsules that can keep bacteria viable, providing a sufficient dose of “live” beneficial bacteria to the skin. Once in contact with the skin, the microcapsules release the good bacteria, helping restore a healthy and balanced skin microbiome. Providing good bacteria to the skin can reestablish the natural balance of the skin’s microbiome, alleviating acne inflammation and appearance. 

The main advantage of this treatment is the reduced side effects, which has the effect of increasing patient compliance to the therapy until results can be seen. In addition, due to its microbiome-safe solution, this acne solution does not require a medical prescription.

The importance of novel acne treatments:

Acne affects up to 50 million people in the United States alone, making it the most prevalent skin condition among Americans and the eighth-most common disease worldwide. But acne affects more than appearance; it impacts interpersonal relationships and is often associated with loneliness and depression.

Novel topical, systemic, and drug-delivery systems are in the pipeline that will soon change the therapeutic approaches for patients severely affected by the disease.

Are you working on new formulations or product designs in the skin care space? PreScouter can help! Please contact us here or email us at to find out how we can assist your business with its innovation challenges.

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