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What’s New in the Treatment of Acne: Summer 2019

For a long time, Dermatologists have known that having a clear complexion tends to promote a positive outlook on life, and better self-confidence. In fact, tendencies to depression have been linked to being diagnosed with acne.

Fortunately, in 2019 Dermatologists have so many more effective options to help people to avoid acne and acne scars. So let’s take a look at what therapies are now available:

Therapy for acne often involves a combination of oral antibiotics, such as doxycycline or minocycline, with prescription topical (meaning “on top of the skin”) agents, like Tretinoin Cream, or benzoyl peroxide products, including Duac®, Epiduo®, and Onexton® Gels; topical azelaic acid products like Finacea® Gel or Azelex®, or topical dapsone products like Aczone® Gel.

Sometimes we Dermatologists use a five months’ course of an oral medication called isotretinoin, previously called Accutane. This works on acne by drying up the oil glands, and it’s highly effective, but requires strict avoidance of pregnancy while on the five months of treatment, and monthly bloodwork. Accutane (isotretinoin) is a great option for people with acne that’s resistant to oral antibiotic, but it’s definitely not the best choice for everyone, particularly for people with a history of depression or a history of inflammatory bowel disease, or people who are considering pregnancy within the six months that are required to be properly treated with Accutane.

In 2019, a new oral antibiotic is being released – Sarecycline (Seysara°) – which seems to have a quicker onset of action. A new vitamin A lotion - Altrena° - has also been released – which seems to be less drying than adapalene gel.

So what about skin cleansers for people with acne?

Traditional cleansers for people with acne have included benzoyl peroxide-containing products and salicylic acid-containing products. The main problem is that they’re all pretty drying on the skin, causing a fair amount of peeling.

After 25 years of practicing dermatology, in 2016 I decided to establish a skincare products company - Big River Silk Skincare™ Inc. – to manufacture and distribute certain organic and natural skincare products that would be more gentle on people’s skin. AmberSoy™ Soap Gel and GlycoShea™ Facial&Neck Cream are two such products.

AmberSoy is a cleanser that can also be used as a type of face mask, wherein it’s applied to the skin, then left on for 5-10 minutes, thereby allowing it to reduce excess oils. AMBERSOY is notable because It’s one of the very few actual soap gels available commercially in the United States, making it a suitable option for use as a face mask.

AmberSoy Soap Gel is available in 1 oz ($12.95), 2 oz ($18.95), and 8 oz ($59.95) sizes. It is available in Mint, Lemon, and No Fragrance Added. Our dermatologists actually hand-manufacture this product right here in Tennessee. We use only mild preservatives, with absolutely no dyes, no formaldehyde, no parabens, no sulfates, and no propylene glycol. It’s a great option for oily skin or combination skin.

GlycoShea Facial&Neck Cream is a suitable moisturizer product for people dealing with skin dryness and breakouts. It can be applied at night. Its Alpha-Hydroxy acid ingredient –Glycolic Acid – first discovered in sugarcane – smooths the appearance of fine lines in the skin – making it an anti-wrinkle cream. GlycoShea Facial&Neck Cream: 1 ounce ($39.95), 2 ounces ($59.95), and 8 ounces ($179.95).

All of Big River Silk Skincare’s products are available for purchase at our company headquarters, at 8143 Walnut Grove Road, Cordova TN 38018, Monday-Friday, 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM. They can also be ordered at ($5.00 USPS shipping and handling; free shipping and handling for order over $40.00). (1-901-265-1189).

So if you or a family member has a facial breakout or a face rash, consider getting a checkup with a Dermatologist. My own Dermatology practice is at Rheumatology and Dermatology Associates, 8143 Walnut Grove Road, Cordova TN 38018 (; 1-901-753-0168; Info@rheumderm.com0. Or you can find a Dermatologist on the American Academy of Dermatology web site – – by going to the tab labeled “public,” then clicking on “Find a Dermatologist.” Just plug in your zip code, and voila, you have a list of Dermatologists near you.

George Woodbury Jr. M.D. (03/25/2019)

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