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Sunday, 13 August 2017

New Miracle Cream, should I try it?

My friend bought acne products online. There's a number of consumers' testimonials and looks very convincing. I'm tempted looking at the pre- and post-treatment results. Should I try it or should I not?

I can't advise you if the particular product is good or otherwise but maybe I can give you a few guides on choosing the products. There are a lot of online or over-the-counter or direct selling products with testimonials and claims from consumers. Some people practically swear by it, claiming the extreme effectiveness without the side effects of "standard treatment".

A few points to ponder:

I am sure you know that most skin diseases progress and change and heal with time. Be it acne or eczema or psoriasis, there are good times and bad times. Even if you do not treat it, it may gets better on its own. And of course, it may worsens too. The reason we are treating it is to make it recovers faster, lessens the itch and the pain, lessens the marks and the scars.

Plain vehicles aka. plain creams without active ingredients can heal. We know that skin conditions like acne and eczema do improve with moisturiser. Yes, it does. There are many therapeutic moisturisers, marketed in particularly for eczema, with proper well designed scientific studies such as randomised controlled trials to prove its efficacy. These are really awesome, especially for young babies and adults who are steroid phobic. If you noticed, most of the time if not all, they are comparing with 1% hydrocortisone (aka one of the weakest topical steroids). This means that the claims they can made is that they are effective, but the effects is not inferior but also not better than the weakest steroids.

There is something called placebo effect. A person's condition can improve because he or she is very confident and expecting the recovery. Likewise, he or she is more likely to experience side effects from the treatment if he or she is expecting it. (But unlike alternative or integrative medicine practitioners, we the doctors still need to tell you the possible side effects of every drugs prescribed, don't we?)

Before forking out your cash, some reality check: 
Is the active ingredients listed?
Is the potential side effects listed?

Remember that something with literally no side effect at all, is likely to be just a vehicle (aka. plain moisturiser, even that could have irritations sometimes).

If you are keen to try, perhaps you can do a little scientific study at home. Most skin conditions affect both side of your face / body with similar severity. You can do a split face trial. Use the new product on one side of the face and standard treatment on the other side and compare. Scientifically, a new medication should be compared to the standard treatment for its efficacy before it is launched.

Good luck!

You might be interested to read:
Moisturiser for acne
Steroid fear

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