Expert Q and A: Avoiding the Angst of Acne at Any Age
An interview with Jenny J. Kim, MD, PhD.
What's new in acne treatment? continued...
We're seeing more combination therapy. Since there are five different things
going on, we use two or three treatments. It’s really hard for patients to take
three different things in the morning and three different things in the
evening, so drug companies are developing [medicines] where you have two
actives, such as an antibiotic and retinoid (vitamin A derivative that can
unplug follicles and pores) in one drug.
The latest studies say diet may play a role in acne, particularly a high
gylcemic (high-carb) diet and perhaps skim milk. We need better research in
this area, but in the future we might see diet used for regulating and treating
We’re also combining devices with medical treatment. So we can use a topical
medication that will penetrate into the [gland] where the acne is occurring and
that makes that oil gland light up, and then you come in with either laser or
light-based technologies. These include the pulsed-dye laser, red and blue
light, and photodynamic therapy, which target the sebaceous (or oil) glands and
can reduce acne flares.
But I don't think they should the first line of therapy. The problem is that
there are limited large, prospective, well-controlled studies that demonstrate
their effectiveness, so that will be an area we need to explore in the