Acne is one of the most common skin conditions in all ages, affecting 40-50 million people in the United States alone. Although there are many prescription and over-the-counter acne treatments available, there have been no new FDA-approved methods to treat this condition since the approval of isotretinoin in 1982 – until now.
Prescription Winlevi is the first new acne treatment approved by the FDA since then, and its approach is different from other acne treatments that target acne-causing bacteria or sebum (oil) production.
Winlevi aims to treat a specific type of acne called hormonal acne. If you have acne but don’t want to take antibiotics, Accutane, or birth control, this may be the option for you.
How is hormonal acne different?
There are three main causes of acne in general:
Acne-causing bacteria called P.acnes
Overproduction of sebum (oil)
In the case of hormonal acne, hormonal imbalances can cause your skin to produce excessive amounts of oil, most commonly resulting in cystic acne along the chin and jawline. Many women in their 20s, 30s and 40s struggle with hormonal acne before the start of their menstrual cycle each month or during pregnancy or menopause, as hormonal fluctuations are heightened at these times.
Hormonal imbalances that lead to hormonal acne can also be caused by certain medical conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and certain thyroid disorders.
Non-hormonal acne, on the other hand, can be triggered by diet, stress, pore-clogging skin care products, and not washing your face before bed.
How does Winlevi work?
Winlevi (clascoterone 1%) is a topical cream that targets hormonal acne by blocking androgen receptors. Androgens are a family of hormones that include testosterone and are responsible for signaling your skin to produce sebum by binding to androgen receptors. By blocking these receptor sites, Winlevi reduces sebum production and helps reduce acne caused by hormonal imbalances.
Due to its ability to block testosterone, Winlevi cream can also be used on the upper lip to decrease hair growth in women.
Could Winlevi be right for me?
Winlevi is only available by prescription, so talk to your doctor to see if it might be a suitable acne treatment option for you. The best acne treatment regimen should also include the proper skin care regimen to address underlying inflammation, oil production, and clogged pores to prevent acne from returning.
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