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Women seeking an acne medicine that can cause severe birth defects may find it a little easier to fill their prescription: The government announced some changes Wednesday designed to ease access to the troublesome drug.
A program called iPledge was designed to ensure that every user of Accutane or its generic competitors—and every doctor who prescribes it and every pharmacy that sells it—follows strict rules to make sure that women don't get pregnant while on the drug. Among those rules are month-by-month prescriptions based on passing pregnancy tests.
But last summer, the Food and Drug Administration heard evidence that iPledge hasn't ended the problem: There were 122 pregnancies in the program's first year and another 37 in the four months since. Another 19 pregnancies occurred in women who managed to get the drug despite never enrolling in iPledge.
Still, in October the FDA agreed to a few changes to the program, and announced Wednesday that iPledge is now implementing these changes:
* Women of childbearing age who don't fill a prescription within seven days of a pregnancy test will be allowed to get another test and then fill the prescription—with the exception of the initial prescription. Until now, those who didn't act within seven days were frozen out of the program for the next 23 days.
* Those women will have to fill the prescription within seven days of a pregnancy test rather than within seven days of first seeing their doctor.
Associated Press, December 5, 2007
Extension to run through Dec. 26, 2007; agency seeks to balance industry concerns and the interests of public health to ensure that sunscreen products properly inform consumers of the level of protection...
By Sara Mason
Makeup’s dynamic sales growth is, in part, a reflection of the demand for added benefits and natural ingredients, challenging formulators to continually work toward ever-more sophisticated products.
Senators John Kerry, Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer have joined the interest group Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (CSC) in questioning the levels of lead in lipstick.
By Abby Penning
Learn the methods this month’s Face to Face subject uses to overcome her skin difficulities.
By Briony Davies
Color cosmetics is forecast to keep pace with the overall cosmetics and toiletries market at a steady 3% per year through 2011. This resurgence in the segment is driven both by manufacturer innovation and consumers demanding better results from makeup.
The findings from a new study suggest another reason why diets that contain low glycemic loads may be of benefit. Not only can they improve insulin sensitivity, this type of diet also appears to clear up acne as well.
Data from earlier studies suggest that dietary factors such as the glycemic load are involved in the pathogenesis of acne. Therefore, changes in diet could impact symptoms of this common skin disease, the researches hypothesize.
Foods that produce a high glycemic load—or high levels of blood glucose—such as white bread and potatoes tend to cause a rapid surge in blood sugar. Conversely, other carbs, such as high-fiber cereals or beans, create a more gradual change and are considered to have a low glycemic index.
Dr. Robyn N. Smith, from the RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, and colleagues assessed acne symptoms in 43 male patients, between 15 and 25 years, who were randomly assigned to a low glycemic load diet or a normal diet for 12 weeks. The intervention diet consisted of 25% energy from protein and 45% from low-glycemic-index carbohydrates.
The findings are published in the July issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The low-glycemic diet was associated with a significant reduce in total acne compared with the normal diet. In addition, the low-glycemic diet produced significantly greater reductions in body weight and body mass and a greater increase in insulin sensitivity. Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body’s cells become insensitive to the effects of insulin, so the body’s response to a normal amount of insulin is reduced. As a result, higher amounts of insulin are needed for this hormone to work in the body.
Smith and her associates point out that this study is the first randomized controlled trial to examine the influence the effects of glycemic load on acne.
“Although we could not isolate the effect of the low glycemic load diet from that of weight loss,” they add, the findings support the hypothesis of a relationship between acne and high insulin levels.
Reuters, July 20, 2007
Botox and plastic surgery may promise to reduce wrinkles and worry lines, but some New Yorkers are turning to facial yoga to achieve a youthful appearance.
At a recent class in Manhattan’s wealthy Upper East Side, yoga instructor Annelise Hagen teaches several facial exercises designed to stretch and tone facial muscles.
A group of women practice moves including “The Lion,” showing the tongue hanging out and eyes rolled up. Hagen encourages class members to hold the position for 60 seconds, joking: “You can do this any time. It really helps you get a seat on the train.”
Hagen recently released a book, The Yoga Face: Eliminate Wrinkles with the Ultimate Natural Facelift (Avery, 2007). She said she developed a workshop using facial yoga because women wanted to look their best, “but they weren’t really thinking about how to exercise their facial muscles.”
She said facial muscles become weak and flabby and need regular workouts and circulation to reduce wrinkles.
Besides “The Lion,” other exercises include “Satchmo,” in which the cheeks are blown out Louis Armstrong-style, and ”Marilyn,” in which glamorous kisses are blown to strengthen mouth muscles for full and firm lips.
“It uses the same principles of exercise you would use for any other parts of your body,” Hagen said. “Facial muscles also become more toned, so it is a natural way of getting a lift.”
Hagen recommends facial yoga for those wanting to find outer and inner beauty, saying, “the emotional aspect is just as important as the physiological.”
But she does not rule out plastic surgery or Botox. “I don’t rule it out for myself. One day I may feel like I need that. But regardless, maintaining elasticity and tone is really crucial, especially if you have had Botox and plastic surgery,” she said.
While making faces in front of strangers might intimidate some, those who attended the class thought it the perfect way to combat busy New York lifestyles. “Working in New York is very stressful,” Kathy Healey said. ”It’s a perfect way to end the week.”
Reuters, September 5, 2007
Researchers now believe they have found a key mechanism that drives rosacea.
A team at Procter & Gamble Beauty sequenced the genome of Malassezia globosa, a fungus that grows on the skin of between 50-90% of the population.