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Recent Dermatological Advancements

Teenagers know how acne can interfere with their lifestyle and confidence. Over many years, scientists and dermatologists have been studying new treatment options for acne. Dermatologists prescribe medications through a variety of different methods and dosages for numerous diseases and conditions, which are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, there are medications that have only recently hit the market, so their efficacy has yet to be seen.

It is important for dermatologists, especially those in training, to know about recently approved drugs. Physicians may use these new drugs if patients are having a difficult time getting their insurance to cover prescriptions.

For example, Ameluz (aminolevulinic acid hydrochloride) is a new drug that was approved for treatment of mild to moderate actinic keratosis on the face and scalp. Actinic Keratosis is a growth on the face caused by damage from exposure to the sun or artificial light. The patient may experience a burning or stinging sensation throughout the treatment and the skin will then proceed to peel. Since this drug was FDA approved, the assumption is that it is safe to use.

There is also a new treatment for severe eczema, a common skin disease which causes the skin to become inflamed or irritated. To treat it, a drug called Dupilumab has been approved. This drug blocks two specific molecules of the immune system that are overproduced in patients with this and some other allergic diseases. The only side effects were a slight increase in conjunctivitis, an inflammation of the outer membrane of the eye and swelling at the injection site.

It is incredible to see how far medical advancements are taking us. Because they are occurring so rapidly, it is really important for doctors to be keeping up with and becoming familiar with these new treatments.

Edited by: Kaylynn Crawford, Karen Yung, and Shreya Singireddy