The annual congress of the American Academy of Dermatology, in the U.S.A, is the congress where everyone who knows anything about skin in the world, attends. It is held on the east coast one year and on the west coast the other. On this occasion it was the turn of Orlando, and was again a huge event. Here are the latest updates at a glance.

Innovative cosmetics?

My favourite research physician Dr. Zoe Diana Draelos, among more things, presented Hot Topics concerning developments in the field of cosmetics. It was painfully clear that innovative doesn’t always mean effective. Dr. Zoe Diana Draelos has, for example, researched the popular paper skin masks and, although the suggestion that certain masks can improve the skin and reduce wrinkles, the results appear to be very short lived and based solely on a temporary increase in moisture in the skin.

She also comments on the use of skin rollers with needles; home use is risky as you can disrupt the barrier function and, in fact, conduct pollutants and bacteria into the skin. Furthermore, people who regularly use a derma roller appear to have more pores.
And if you have purchased a cream specifically for your neck, then you had best not read any further: the task is to hydrate and, other than the marketing, differs in no way to the creams for the face. Oh yes, and did you know that stem cell creams contain no ‘living’ stem cells?

The treatment for rosacea

Progress has also been made in the area of rosacea. Although in the past the emphasis has been to treat with antibiotics, it has become clearer that the root cause of the problem is the overgrowth of Demodex mites. The recently registered medicine ivermectin is very effective here. Another new medicine in the treatment of rosacea is oxymetazoline which reduces redness on the face through the narrowing of the blood vessels. And if you think: that sounds familiar,you’ll be right! The chemical is almost identical to the xylomethozaline and is also used in nasal sprays for colds. Azelaic acid has also been given a more important role in the treatment of rosacea, and rightly so. This medicine helps treat acne and pigmentation spots, which is a real bonus…

The treatment of acne

Research has also been carried out into a number of new medicines for the treatment of acne. There are now three different ingredients being tested which are specifically aimed at reducing sebum production. That is quite unusual because the products currently on the market, despite promising wonderful results, are capable of doing very little or nothing for sebum production. Those investigations are already well into the clinical phases, so I hope to be able to tell you more about this soon. Furthermore, the conference once again stressed the need for careful handling of oral antibiotics. For me, this a very important subject, to which I have more recently devoted time on Skinwiser. It is not only because of the risk of resistance from the P.acnes bacteria, but antibiotics can also be responsible for new problems in the body. The balance of the so-called microflora is affected, giving other bacterial strains an opportunity to thrive. Not only on the skin but also in the gut. There are many alternatives to antibiotics, but unfortunately those medicines aren’t always deployed properly by dermatologists or GPs. I think this is a real shame and high time that I dedicate a blog on that subject soon.
Kind regards,


Research Physician Cosmetic Dermatolgy 

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