Eastman WJ, Malahias S, Delconte J, DiBenedetti D. Assessing attributes of topical vehicles for the treatment of acne, atopic dermatitis, and plaque psoriasis. Cutis. 2014 Jul;94(1):46-53.

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.

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