If you struggle with hormonal acne, there’s an exciting development that may change how you go about clearing stubborn breakouts. The US Food and Drug Administration recently approved Winlevi, a prescription treatment, for use in patients 12 years and older. The groundbreaking topical cream for treating hormonal acne is the first of its kind.
Winlevi – which is also known as Clascoterone Cream 1% for the drug’s active ingredient – targets androgen receptors in the skin, which, according to the manufacturer’s clinical trials, results in less sebum production and oil buildup. Androgen are hormones that increase inflammation and sebum production. They’re a driving force behind hormonal acne breakouts.
Reducing the sebum level on the face in turn reduces the chance to trap dirt that can cause inflammation and spur more acne. Where most over-the-counter acne products aim to squash breakouts with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, Winlevi acts as more of a preventive measure with specific hormonal triggered acne.
The cream is safe for use by all skin types and genders.
Much of the optimism surrounding Winlevi so far is related to its potential as an alternative to oral medication like spironolactone, which can cause significant side effects in some patients. It could also be a good fit for anyone who doesn’t want to be on the pill, or who hasn’t had total success with the pill.
Also, if you’ve gone through multiple courses of Accutane, an oral acne medication, and experienced minimal improvement due to hormonal breakouts, ask your dermatologist if you should try Winlevi.
In clinical trials, the twice-a-day formula caused a reduction in acne lesions and was tolerated well. The most common side effect, which occurred in seven to 12 percent of patients, was erythema, or temporary reddening of the skin. (Other potential side effects include burning, itching, and peeling.)
Winlevi won’t necessarily clash with other specific skincare products or ingredients in your daily routine. Nonetheless, you can make Winlevi your only acne-targeting treatment.
“This milestone approval marks the introduction of a new class of topical medication in dermatology,” Diana Harbort, CEO Cassiopea, the pharmaceutical company behind the drug, said in a statement released by the company. “Dermatologists have said targeting androgen hormonal activity in the skin is ‘the holy grail’ of acne treatment for both males and females.”