Assessing attributes of topical vehicles for the treatment of acne, atopic dermatitis, and plaque psoriasis
There is limited information available regarding patient preferences and attributes of topical product formulations for specific dermatologic conditions. This study focused on product attributes that were most desirable for 3 dermatologic conditions: acne, atopic dermatitis (AD), and plaque psoriasis (PP). Six focus groups were conducted with participants self-reporting 1 of these conditions and use of 2 or more topical treatments. Discussion focused on symptoms, treatments tried, and vehicle attributes. Fifty-four subjects participated: acne, n=19; AD, n=18; and PP, n=17. The most commonly reported prescription medication vehicles were creams and ointments, followed by lotions, gels, and foams. Itching and redness were the only symptoms spontaneously reported across all 6 focus groups. The attributes considered most important across all conditions included: moisturizing, absorbs/disappears/dries quickly, available in various formulations, does not bleach or stain skin/hair/clothing, is not greasy or oily, is not sticky or tacky, is long lasting/long acting, is fragrance or odor free, is easy to apply/simple to use, and can use all the time. Preferences attributable to acne included: easy to dispense/dispenses right amount, nondrying, product goes on/spreads smoothly, container is not easily broken/does not leak, and creamy. Preferences attributable to AD included: not noticeable to others/conceals area, good consistency, and cooling. Patient preference for product vehicle is relevant to adherence as compliance is a major factor for high rates of failure for dermatologic treatments.