has expanded distribution across the US, partnered with WebMD
and had mentions in Health and Marie Claire magazines.
“Our advertising is geared toward mothers (since) she’s the
one who goes out and purchases the product for the teen,” explained Burns.
Burns agreed that the OTC acne treatment category may be
down, but sales are up for Zapzyt due to its efficacy.
“The formulas are effective and consumers tell us via email
and Facebook that they tried other products but that Zapzyt
works and does what it says it will do,” she told Happi. “In this
economy, you can’t keep purchasing product after product trying
to find one that works.”
But even when OTC acne treatments work, there’s still room
for improvement, said Dr. Graber who recommends OTC prod-
ucts be used in combination with topical antibiotics that are
prescribed by a dermatologist. Specifically, she recommends a
benzoyl peroxide/clindamycin combination that can attack acne
from different directions.
She suggests patients use a benzoyl peroxide (<5%) wash
once a day with a moisturizer to keep the benzoyl peroxide from
drying out the skin. At night, routines vary, but Dr. Graber suggested a glycolic acid-based formula that is less irritating and drying than other treatments. At the same time, she recommended
incorporating an OTC vitamin A-based formula to improve acne.
“But if there is no improvement in two or three weeks, consumers should see a dermatologist,” Dr. Graber added.
While she is a fan of OTC acne treatments, she offered a few
suggestions to improve formulas such as creating a benzoyl per-oxide-based formula that won’t bleach towels and pillowcases, a
topical vitamin A formula that doesn’t dry or irritate the skin and
even the creation of an OTC zinc supplement, as zinc has been
shown to improve acne.
“Skin allergies are a problem, too,” she noted. “Patients think
Zapzyt may have a new look, but it still contains 10% benzoyl.