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Dr Hilary Baldwin Explains Importance of New Acne Treatments


Hilary Baldwin, MD, medical director, Acne Treatment and Research Center, discusses new therapies for acne and unmet needs for the condition.

Hilary Baldwin, MD, medical director, Acne Treatment and Research Center, explains why tretinoin 1% benzoyl peroxide 3% cream is an important addition to the existing acne product market, and what other unmet needs she hopes to see researched.


Why is it important that we have another acne product on the market?

It's always important to have new tools in our acne toolbox. Patients often come in to see us and they say, "I've tried everything, and nothing has worked for me before." It's always nice to have that new product that hasn't been tried before, so that's one issue. The second issue is that tretinoin is a really good active ingredient, but it's a problem child in some ways. Unless you formulate it correctly, it doesn't do well in ultraviolet light, it doesn't do well in combination with benzoyl peroxide, our primary other agent that we frequently use topically. So it can be a problem child, and in this particular formulation, it's not. The problems have been solved and we are able to use this very good active ingredient along with benzoyl peroxide—our other favorite active ingredient—together in one product that our patients are more likely to be compliant with, because they only need to use it once a day. So I think it's a win-win situation and a very good addition to our acne toolbox.

What are some other unmet needs in acne, and how do you hope to see them further researched?

[Regarding] unmet needs in acne right now, we're doing pretty well, I think. We recently had a topical sebum inhibitor added to our armamentarium, which kind of completes my wishlist. I guess if I had one area in which I would be most anxious to have an alternative, it would be in the very severe acne patients. Wouldn't it be lovely to have an alternative to isotretinoin with perhaps fewer issues associated with it, maybe fewer side effects, for example? Isotretinoin [is] clearly the best drug we have for the treatment of acne, and I'm in no way saying that it's not a great drug, but it would be lovely to have an alternative where we wouldn't have to worry about maybe teratogenicity. Pie in the sky, clearly, but I guess that's where my wishlist would lead me.

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