Acne remains “an equal opportunity annoyance,” according to Hilary E. Baldwin, MD, of Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Newark, NJ.

However, acne medications also work equally well across age, gender, and skin type groups, and new systemic and topical options are emerging, said Dr. Baldwin, who serves as medical director of The Acne Treatment and Research Center in Morristown, NJ.

Several products that entered the market in 2016 have demonstrated success, she said in a presentation on acne at the annual Coastal Dermatology Symposium. She cited data on dapsone 7.5% gel (Aczone) applied daily, which showed significant improvements in moderate facial acne and lesion counts compared with vehicle.

A noteworthy new potential acne treatment combines 200 mg doxycycline with topical adapalene 0.3%/benzoyl peroxide 2.5%, Dr. Baldwin said. In a small but promising 12-week open-label study of patients aged 12 years and older with severe facial acne considered candidates for isotretinoin, inflammatory, noninflammatory, and overall total lesion counts reduced significantly from baseline, she said.

Other acne treatments in the pipeline include a nitric oxide gel, a topical sebum inhibitor, and minocycline gel and foam formulations.

Sarecycline, a tetracycline class antibiotic, has generated some excitement after a phase 2 dose ranging study presented at the 2017 American Academy of Dermatology’s annual meeting showed significant improvement in inflammatory lesion counts among acne patients who received 1.5 mg/kg or 3 mg/kg once a day compared with placebo patients, after 12 weeks. Noninflammatory lesion counts were not significantly improved compared with placebo. Potential advantages of sarecycline include improved efficacy with fewer side effects and possibly, a lower risk of antibiotic resistance, Dr. Baldwin said. Phase 3 study results of the 1.5 mg/kg dose are pending.

Data on the potential role of diet in acne continue to evolve, she noted. A recent study of 225 teens with acne suggested that skim and/or low-fat dairy products are associated with acne and that reducing consumption of these products might help (J Am Acad Dermatol. 2016 Aug;75[2]:318-22). Another small study of 64 adults involving a nutritional survey showed that those with moderate to severe acne consumed significantly more carbohydrates than did those without acne, an indication that clinicians could consider recommending that acne patients reduce their carbohydrate intake to see whether it makes a difference.

The symposium was jointly presented by the University of Louisville and Global Academy for Medical Education. This publication and Global Academy for Medical Education are both owned by Frontline Medical News. Dr. Baldwin is a speaker and advisor for Allergan, Galderma, and Valeant; and is an investigator for Dermira, Galderma, Novan, and Valeant.