If you suffer from acne we have good news. The FDA has approved the first new medicine for the condition in years, Dr. Bruce Hensel reported.
Nearly 50 million Americans suffer from acne. The skin condition can take an emotional toll on the people who suffer from it. This new treatment was used for something else. Now it's being used as an off-label treatment for acne, and it works differently from many of its predecessors.
Acne is no longer considered a teenage skin condition. Just ask 44-year-old Wendy Mackey.
"It was very annoying because my skin was always good whenever I was growing up. This was something totally new to me," Mackey said.
For about a month, Mackey's been taking Oracea, a medication typically used to treat the skin condition rosacea. It's not FDA approved for acne yet, but dermatologist Lisa Rhodes says it's been effective for many of her acne patients, including Mackey.
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"I've especially found a lot of success in patients with the cystic acne, especially women in their 30s and 40s that get the cysts around their jawline, it is typically hormonally-based acne," Rhodes said.
It's not a full-dose antibiotic, so Rhodes says antibiotic resistance or overuse are not issues.
"The way Oracea works is that it's a low-dose antibiotic. So it actually doesn't kill any bacteria, it just decreases inflammation," Rhodes said.
The only caution is cost. Since Oracea is new and not approved for acne, your insurance may not cover it. But for Mackey, it's worth it. She's seeing results.
"I have more confidence because I'm not trying to hide something," Mackey said.
"Teenagers may see better results with standard full-dose antibiotics instead of medications like Oracea. More research is needed to see how long patients can safely stay on it. Ask your doctor what's right for you," Hensel said.
- Nearly all adolescents and teens get acne to some degree.
- Physicians may prescribe antibiotics to treat severe cases of acne.
- Oracea is a slow-release, low-dose form of the antibiotic, doxycycline.
- Some physicians are using Oracea off-label for acne treatment.
For information on Oracea®, http://www.oracea.com
For information on acne: American Academy of Dermatology, http://www.aad.org, or http://www.skincarephysicians.com/acnenet/acne.html