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    Acne treatment claims 'unsupported'


    Nottingham, England — A British study suggests that companies touting the effectiveness of their acne treatment products can’t always back their claims with hard evidence.

    According to an ABC News report, the University of Nottingham study found that common acne-fighting products lack proper research in documenting their effectiveness. The study notes that most guidelines for acne care are based on expert opinions, but that even those opinions many have conflicts of interest.

    ABC News quotes lead author Hywel Williams, Ph.D., director of the university’s Centre of Evidence-Based Dermatology, as saying, “The large number of products and product combinations, and the scarcity of comparative studies, has led to disparate guidelines with few recommendations being evidence-based.”

    The study notes that nearly half of recently published acne trials contain serious flaws that could be overcome by better reporting and that the “absence of trials with active comparators is a significant handicap to shared clinical decision-making.”

    But other researchers defend research done on over-the-counter and prescription acne treatments, ABC News reports. Kevin Cooper, M.D., professor and chairman of dermatology at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, is quoted as saying, “There are many clinical trials published which demonstrate that the treatment being studied is better than placebo and has reasonable or minimal side effects. This is necessary to obtain FDA approval of the medication or the medication combination. In some cases the company may have compared the combination against the individual ingredients alone.”

    The University of Nottingham study was published in The Lancet.

    Bill Gillette
    Bill Gillette is a freelance writer based in Richmond Heights, Ohio.

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