Improvement of Atrophic Acne Scars in Skin of Color Using Topical Synthetic Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF) Serum: A Pilot Study
April 2017 | Volume 16 | Issue 4 | Original Article | 322 | Copyright © April 2017
Marie Alexia Stoddard BS,a Jennifer Herrmann MD,b,c,d Lauren Moy MD,e and Ronald Moy MDb,f
aDavid Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA bMoy-Fincher-Chipps Facial Plastics/Dermatology, Beverly Hills, CA cDepartment of Dermatology, Keck School of Medicine at USC, Los Angeles, CA dDepartment of Dermatology, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA eAlbany Medical Center, Albany, NY fDepartment of Dermatology Keck School of Medicine at USC, Los Angeles, CA
BACKGROUND: Atrophic scarring in skin of color is a common, permanent, and distressing result of uncontrolled acne vulgaris. Ablative lasers and chemical peels are frequently used to improve the appearance of atrophic scars, primarily through the stimulation of collagen and elastin; however, these treatment modalities are associated with risks, such as dyspigmentation and hypertrophic scarring, especially in patients with darker skin.
OBJECTIVE: We evaluated the efficacy of topically applied synthetic epidermal growth factor (EGF) serum in reducing the appearance of atrophic acne scars in skin of color.
METHODS: A single-center clinical trial was performed on twelve healthy men and women (average age 32.5) with Fitzpatrick Type IV-V skin and evidence of facial grade II-IV atrophic acne scars. Subjects applied topical EGF serum to the full-face twice daily for 12 weeks. Scar improvement was investigated at each visit using an Investigator Global Assessment (IGA), a Goodman grade, clinical photography, and patient self-assessment.
RESULTS: Eleven subjects completed the trial. Compared to baseline, there was an improvement in mean IGA score from 3.36 (SEM = 0.15) to 2.18 (SEM = 0.33). Mean Goodman grade was reduced from 2.73 (SEM = 0.19) to 2.55 (SEM = 0.21). Of the eleven pairs of before and after photographs, nine were correctly chosen as the post-treatment image by a blind investigator. On self-assessment, 81% reported a “good” to “excellent” improvement in their scars compared to baseline (P = 0.004).
CONCLUSION: Topical EGF may improve the appearance of atrophic acne scars in skin of color. Additional, larger studies should be conducted to better characterize improvement.
J Drugs Dermatol. 2017;16(4):322-326.