Over the Counter Products for Acne Treatment and Maintenance in Latin America: A Review of Current Clinical Practice

March 2021 | Volume 20 | Issue 3 | Original Article | 244 | Copyright © March 2021


Published online February 23, 2021

Anneke Andriessen PhDa, Ana Cecilia Rodas Diaz MDb, Paola Castaneda Gameros MDc, Olga Macias MDd, Juliane Rocio Neves MDe, Carmen Gloria Gonzalez MDf

aRadboud UMC Nijmegen, Andriessen Consultants, Malden, The Netherlands
bCentro Dermatológico DermaMed, Guatemala City, Guatemala
cPrivate Practice, Dermatology and Dermato-onclogy, Mexico City, Mexico
dClínica DermaSomerville, Mexico City, Mexico
eHospital de Força Aerea do Galeão (HFAG), Rio de Janiero, Brazil
fServicio de Dermatologia Clinica Dávila Santiago, Chile

Abstract
Background: The prevalence and clinical presentation of acne vulgaris in Latin America are comparable to that in Europe and the United States. This review aims at insight into the role of Over the Counter (OTC) products in acne treatment and maintenance in Latin America.
Methods: A panel of dermatologists from Latin America employed an online procedure to answer questions on this topic: What is used, by whom, when, how, and why? Before the meeting, a survey was completed by dermatologists from Latin America on OTC products for acne recommended by the panel in their clinical practice. The survey information and a literature review on Latin American acne guidelines and clinical studies were used to address this topic.
Results: The survey responders' choices on OTC products for monotherapy comprised alpha-hydroxy acid and beta-hydroxy acid-containing serum, ceramides-containing foaming cleanser, a soap-free exfoliating cleanser, adapalene, and benzoyl peroxide-containing products. The clinicians recommended OTC cleansing products mainly for younger patients at a starter level and for women with adult acne. The use of these OTC products is similar to practice described in therapeutic acne guidelines and algorithms for Latin American countries, Spain and Portugal, Europe, and the United States.
Conclusions: Advisors agreed that OTC products and skincare recommendations, in addition to the use of prescription medications, are a crucial part of successful acne therapy. Participants noted that the use of quality OTC products could improve acne symptomatology and severity.

J Drugs Dermatol. 20(3):244-250. doi:10.36849/JDD.2021.5779

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INTRODUCTION

Acne vulgaris (acne) is an inflammatory skin disorder, ranked by the Global Burden of Disease Project as the eighth most prevalent disease worldwide.1,2 Globally the prevalence of acne is estimated at 9.4% affecting 650 million adolescents and adults.1-4 For adolescent girls, acne's peak incidence is 14–17-years old and 16- and 19-years-old for boys.3,4 Although typical for adolescents, this inflammatory skin disorder is becoming more prevalent in adulthood, especially in women.4,5

The high prevalence of acne and its presentation is similar in Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula.6 A prospective study assessed the demographic and clinical characteristics of 1,384 patients between 25 to 60 years from 21 countries in Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula.6 The study aimed to identify:parameters for the severity of acne, its links to demographic, biological, social, environmental factors, and potential triggers. The study found that acne was presented similarly in adults and adolescents.6 The authors concluded that acne severity was associated with: the male gender, cosmetics, age of onset, and signs of hyperandrogenism.6

Members of the Iberian-Latin American College of Dermatology (CILAD) formed the Iberian-Latin American Group for the Study of Acne (GILEA). They developed a practical treatment algorithm on acne, adapting it to the reality of Latin American countries, Spain and Portugal.7 The algorithm addresses mild-to-severe acne treatment and includes Over the Counter (OTC) nonprescription treatment and skincare products (Figure 1).7