2004 Dermatology Year in Review
Todd Minars, M.D.
DermatologyExciting things have happened in the world of dermatology this past year. I will briefly review the interesting highlights (some of which have appeared in this column at the time that they occurred). The year started with the FDA approval of Restylane (actually approved in December of 2003). This new wrinkle “filler” had been anxiously awaited by American dermatologists because doctors in the rest of the world had been successfully injecting it for years. It has essentially replaced the use of collagen in our practice because it lasts significantly longer and is only slightly more expensive. Next, 2004 may eventually be remembered as the beginning of a new era in the treatment of psoriasis. The FDA approved several new drugs that make up a completely new category of medications called the “biologics”. These expensive new “designer” drugs are injected instead of swallowed and have very few side effects compared to other treatments for psoriasis. I will write about these drugs in more detail in next month’s column. More FDA approval highlights: Certain skin cancer patients can now be treated with a cream instead of surgery.
Patients with excessive underarm sweating can shut off the perspiration with the use of Botox. Pharmaceutical companies introduced several new prescription creams for the treatment of rosacea, and acne patients can save some money because there are now at least four generic versions of Accutane.
In the non-prescription world, Strivectin has been this years blockbuster “cosmeceutical”, with a brilliant marketing campaign. But remember, “cosmeceuticals” do not require FDA approval. And whenever I am asked about these products, I have to answer that I cannot evaluate something for which there is no published data. I recommend spending your money on products that year after year, and study after study show quantifiable results. These include products that contain ingredients such as alpha-hydroxy acids, retinoids, and vitamin C.
And while many things change, others stay the same. The two most popular cosmetic procedures performed in the United States continue to be Botox #1 and Laser Hair Removal #2.
For more information, call Dr. Todd Minars at 954-987-7512.