‘Very sparse education’ about skin care in Japan’s medical community – Review

By Si Ying Thian

- Last updated on GMT

Current acne treatment and guidelines typically do not include dermocosmetics for targeted skin concerns like acne skin, despite its proven benefits in treatment and prevention © Getty Images
Current acne treatment and guidelines typically do not include dermocosmetics for targeted skin concerns like acne skin, despite its proven benefits in treatment and prevention © Getty Images

Related tags derma beauty Cosmeceutical dermocosmetics Skin health Skin care Acne Active ingredients

Healthcare practitioners in Japan have limited knowledge about acne management and more needs to be done to demonstrate the impact of skin care to utilise it as a means of treatment and prevention.

Due to cosmetic regulatory restrictions, current acne treatment and guidelines typically do not include dermocosmetics for targeted skin concerns like acne skin, despite its proven benefits in treatment and prevention.

Skin care guidance is provided as lifestyle guidance and cosmetics are not usually specified by the physicians. Samples and leaflets may be provided in hospital/clinic.

“There are products that can contribute to skin care (moisturisers and vitamins), but prescribing such products is only allowed for medical therapeutic uses,​” the paper stated.

According to a Japanese review “medical textbooks typically do not include chapters on skin care, and if included it is explained to the extent of washing, moisturising, and using sunscreens in diseases.”

Defined as “skin care solutions that use sophisticated, dermatologically active ingredients to directly support or care for the symptoms of various skin conditions,”.

The review considered dermocosmetics “a relatively new term​” and “potentially not familiar​” to Japanese patients and healthcare professionals.

The researchers explained the need to demonstrate the impact of skin care on the epidermal barrier function and to optimise dermocosmetics for acne management and as a preventative strategy.

Targeted concerns in the Japanese population

Previous research has found that the Japanese population is more susceptible to skin irritation as well as sensitive skin.

Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (58.2%) and occurrence of micro-scars (90.8%) were among the top concerns.

A web-based questionnaire conducted with 618 women aged 20 to 40 years elicited significant knowledge gaps about acne. 67.3% were concerned about acne relapse.

32.8% of the women surveyed felt that using skin care would worsen their acne, and that they found it difficult to navigate the array of skin care in the market.

Dermocosmetics at work

Previous research elicited the value of dermocosmetics in tackling clinical symptoms around acne skin such as transepidermal water loss (TEWL), lower levels of ceramides, lacking microbial diversity, and changes in pH.

Active ingredients particularly useful for acne management include niacinamide, retinol derivatives, salicylic acid, ceramides, glyercin, thermal spring water, and panthenol.

The researchers also recommended for consumer education alongside the use of dermocosmetics for acne management: “It is helpful to advise patients to avoid intensive washing and use a moisturizing cream that can maintain the integrity of their microbiome.

“Moisturisers can help protect the lamellar layer by supplementing ceramides and lipids, which may reduce water loss and support barrier impermeability. In addition, they can support filaggrin and natural moisturising factor to maintain skin hydration.”

 

Source: Dermatologic Therapy

“The Role and Benefits of Dermocosmetics in Acne Management in Japan”

https://doi.org/10.1007/s13555-023-00943-x

Authors: Kurokawa, I., et al.

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