THE NEW SPOT
FOR ACNE CARE
ACNE TREATMENT RESEARCH CENTER OPENS IN MORRISTOWN, NJ.
THERE’S a new spot for treating acne with last month’s open- ing of the Acne Treatment Research Center in Morristown, NJ. According to ATRC’s medical director Hilary Baldwin,
MD, the center’s focus on acne will give patients more options
and better outcomes when it comes to treating the skin disorder.
It all starts with a one-hour consultation at the first visit and full
30-minute follow-up visits.
“I want patients to say, ‘Wow! I never had such an in-depth
visit with a doctor,’” Baldwin told Happi. “I want to make a
The typical doctor visit has become rushed, she explained,
with the average dermatologist seeing 6-10 patients an hour.
More often than not, these appointments get turned over to phy-
sician assistants and medical assistants.
“I started in academia, where we took a long time to teach
residents about dermatology,” Baldwin
recalled. “I have been unhappy with the
speed of office visits.”
Baldwin received her BA and MA
in biology from Boston University. She
became a research assistant at Harvard
University before attending Boston
University School of Medicine. She then
completed a medical internship at Yale
New Haven Hospital before becoming
a resident and chief resident in derma-
tology at New York University Medical
Center. Upon graduation and board cer-
tification in dermatology, she joined the
faculty of the dermatology department at The State University
of New York, ultimately becoming associate professor and vice
chair of the department. Over 20 years at SUNY, she cared for
patients, taught countless students, and conducted numerous
clinical studies. Dr. Baldwin has lectured extensively both nation-
ally and internationally and published prolifically in journals. She
served as a founding board member and second president of the
American Acne and Rosacea Society.
There’s No Rush
Throughout her career, Baldwin saw too many dermatologists
and other physicians following a set plan when it came to exami-
nation and patient interactions, with no room for flexibility. But
patient care suffers when doctors are merely following a recipe,
“For some patients, the recipe doesn’t work and their needs
aren’t being addressed,”she explained.
At its most serious, a rushed examination can have deadly
consequences, as Baldwin noted teens that are depressed about
their acne have a 2- to 3-fold increase in suicide. Obviously, acne
isn’t a minor issue and its impact can be devastating well beyond
the formative teen years.
“What happens to you in middle school and high school
impacts you as an adult; it can stay with you forever,” explained
Baldwin. “It is crucial for teens to get the right care so they are
not introverted. That issue is never addressed,” she added (see
sidebar on p. 48).
Not Just for Kids
Fifty million Americans have acne and practically all of them are
teenagers. While the number of teens with acne has remained
rather static over the years, there has been an increase in the
number of adult females with acne; Baldwin estimates that the
number of cases of women with adult acne is increasing 20% a
year, but that increase may be due to dermatologists’ success rate,
“We see a lot of moms with happy teens,” Baldwin explained.
“The teens get better and the mother wants to look into it.”
But not all treatments are alike or appropriate for every pa-
tient. Baldwin noted that antibiotics work extremely well, but
they must be used correctly.
“You need a long-term treatment plan,” she explained.
“Accutane doesn’t cure acne, it controls it. So giving a patient a
prescription and saying‘have at it,’ isn’t an answer.”
ATRC notes that antibiotics work exceedingly well in the
treatment of acne; however, in the past decade, medical profes-
sionals have come to realize that perhaps antibiotics work so well
at treating acne because of their anti-inflammatory properties,
Tom Branna • Editorial Director
Hilary Baldwin, MD