Canadian Acne and Rosacea Society Launches

The Acne and Rosacea Society of Canada launched this month. The society promises to offer hope and resources for the more than 8 million Canadians affects by these conditions. It is a non-profit society led by Canadian dermatologists. Among its early initiatives is a an educational website for acne sufferers, called Acne Action (www.acneaction.ca), featuring reputable, in depth information about acne. In the US, the non-profit American Acne and Rosacea Society (http://acneandrosacea.org) has a similar mission.

Changes in Free Testosterone, Sleep Patterns, and 5-Alpha-Reductase Type I Activity Influence Sebum Excretion

Variations in sleep patterns, free testosterone, and 5-alpha-reductase type 1 activity are associated with changes in sebum excretion in women, a new study shows. Researchers measured sebum excretion rate (SER) twice, seven days apart, on the forehead of 40 female patients. They also evaluated serum androgen levels, 5-alpha-reductase type I gene expression, forehead temperature, sleep habits, diet, facial washing routine, and UV exposure. Results indicated a positive correlation between the time subjects fell asleep on Day 0 and the change in SER for the left (P = 0.010; R = 0.402) and right sides (P = 0.002; R = 0.467) of the forehead. Additionally, there was a significant inverse correlation between SER and 5-alpha-reductase type 1 expression and between free testosterone levels and 5-alpha-reductase type 1 expression. In sub-analyses performed on men and women, these correlations were only significant for women. According to the authors, these findings could explain some of the inter-subject variability in SER measured between visits in clinical studies.

—Skin Res Technol. 2014 Aug 28.

Nanotechnology Poised for Growth

An investigational nano-emulsion foam may help to administer minocycline topically with greater effectiveness and fewer side effects than other available formulations, according to product deveopers. In one study, FMX101 (Foamix Pharmaceuticals) reduced inflammatory acne lesions by 71 percent in six weeks and non-inflammatory lesions by 73 percent in 12 weeks, with no side effects. The company expects to begin Phase III clinical trials of FMX101 in mid-2015, funding for which will be provided by proceeds from their recent $75 million IPO filing. In addition to their acne treatment product candidate, Foamix also has a pipeline of other products that are in varying stages of development, including FMX102 for impetigo (also minocycline and in Phase II trials), and a doxycycline foam for chemotherapy-induced rash, which is in preclinical stages of development. In addition to Foamix's product candidates, they have entered into development and license agreements with companies such as Bayer, Merz and Actavis, to combine their foam technology with various drugs selected by the licensee.

Microneedling Found Effective for Acne Scarring in Asian Skin Types

Microneedling with dermaroller is a simple and inexpensive means of treating acne scars with little downtime and satisfactory results for Asian skin types (Fitzpatrick types IV and V), new research finds. For the study, 36 patients with post-acne atrophic facial scars underwent five sittings of dermaroller under topical anesthesia at monthly intervals. The authors found a statistically significant decrease in mean acne scar assessment score from 11.73 ± 3.12 at baseline to 6.5 ± 2.71 after five sittings of dermaroller. Investigators' assessment based on photographic evaluation showed 50-75 percent improvement in majority of patients. In addition, the results on visual analog scale (VAS) analysis showed “good response” in 22 patients and “excellent response” in four patients, at the end of study. The procedure was well tolerated by most of the patients, and chief complications noted were postinflammatory hyperpigmentation in five patients and tramtrek scarring in two patients.

—J Cosmet Dermatol. 2014 Sep;13(3):180-7.

Cannabidiol Shows Potential in Treating Acne

New findings suggest that cannabidiol has therapeutic potential for the treatment of acne. In a study, investigators explored the effects of the major nonpsychotropic phytocannabinoid of Cannabis sativa, CBD, on human sebaceous gland function and determined that CBD behaves as a highly effective sebostatic agent. They found that administration of CBD to cultured human sebocytes and human skin organ culture inhibited the lipogenic actions of various compounds, including arachidonic acid and a combination of linoleic acid and testosterone, and suppressed sebocyte proliferation via the activation of transient receptor potential vanilloid-4 (TRPV4) ion channels. In addition, they learned that activation of TRPV4 interfered with the prolipogenic ERK1/2 MAPK pathway and resulted in the downregulation of nuclear receptor interacting protein-1 (NRIP1), which influences glucose and lipid metabolism, thereby inhibiting sebocyte lipogenesis. CBD also exerted complex antiinflammatory actions that were coupled to A2a adenosine receptor-dependent upregulation of tribbles homolog 3 (TRIB3) and inhibition of the NF-κB signaling.

—J Clin Invest. 2014 Sep 2;124(9):3713-24.