• Rosa Taberner, dermatologist

    The true solution for acne

    Acne is a such a common skin problem that sometimes it is not even considered a disease. However, some cases are very severe and may require quite aggressive treatments. That is where isotretinoin plays a major role as the true solution for acne.


    Isotretinoin – known as Roaccutane® (Accutane in the USA) – is an oral therapy indicated for severer forms of acne resistant to conventional treatment, such as when large painful lesions form or there is a risk of permanent scarring. This retinoid was first synthesized in the middle of the 20th century, but was not until 1982 that it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in the USA for the treatment of acne. Read More

  • Núria Estapé, science journalist

    Snail slime: scam or panacea?

    A few years ago a "miraculous” product appeared on the market. This was snail extract which, it was claimed, contained anti-oxidant and regenerating ingredients that delayed skin ageing. It was advertised as a panacea to eliminate wrinkles, scars, stretch marks, burns, acne and sunspots. While it is not the cure-all promised by the ads, we now know why it improves the skin’s appearance.


    Search for “snail slime” on the Internet and you will be offered thousands of snail products that claim to improve the skin. Folk medicine has used snail slime for many centuries. But many claim that such products are the ineffective recipes of healers. Skeptical consumers ask whether snail extract is a scam, whereas staunch defenders claim that it is a truly effective anti-ageing product. The common snail (Cryptomphalus aspersa) secretes a substance which promotes skin regeneration and minimizes the effect of the free radicals responsible for premature ageing of the skin. Read More

  • Anna Solana, science journalist

    The skin is affected by excess weight

    Little is known about the impact of obesity on the skin. What impact does excess weight have on the largest organ in the body? Some studies are beginning to associate unsightly warts, stretch marks and other skin problems with the body mass index.


    Around one in ten people are obese and the WHO considers obesity, responsible for three million deaths per year worldwide, to be a pandemic. Obesity is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some cancers. And the extra kilos also have an impact on the skin. Endocrinologists have long pointed to problems caused by cell resistance to insulin action in obese individuals, such as acne, hirsutism (excess hair) and dark pigmentation in the neck, armpit and knuckle areas (acanthosis nigricans). Dermatologists are now also signalling these problems. Read More

  • Josep Orellana, science journalist

    Cosmeceuticals: more than cosmetics?

    14 Mar Cosmeceuticals: more than cosmetics?



    American Academy of Dermatology

    Nowadays cosmeceuticals are the goose that lays the golden egg in the cosmetics industry. With many therapeutic effects, they are the panacea that keep skin healthy and looking good. And although not all the effects are scientifically proven, cosmeceutical sales are growing steadily.


    Traditional cosmetics are used for beautifying the body and improving the skin’s appearance. Cosmeceuticals are topical dermatological preparations (creams, lotions and serums) containing active ingredients that can influence the biological functions of the skin, basically by contributing nutrients that have an anti-ageing effect. Legally, they cannot be advertised as products that will prevent disorders or that have certain therapeutic actions. Read More