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Skin disease (dermatological conditions') affects at least one-third of the US population and has been cited as one of the top 15 medical conditions for which prevalence and healthcare spending increased in the last decade. The outcome of topical dermatological drug treatment is significantly influenced by the choice of vehicle or delivery system. Advancements in the life sciences coupled with a growing market for dermatologicals have facilitated the emergence of improved topical formulations and drug delivery systems. The current and emerging approaches of optimizing the topical delivery of dermatological agents (small and large molecules) include the use of chemical enhancers, bio-polymers (e.g. sodium hyaluronate), liposomes, particulate carriers (microspheres and lipid nanoparticles), topical sprays and foams, occlusion (via dressings and patches) topical peels, temperature (heat), iontophoresis, and ultrasound. These delivery approaches (when used solely or in a synergistic manner) are a significant improvement over conventional systems (creams, lotions, ointments and pastes) and have the potential to enhance efficacy and tolerability, improve patient compliance (including dermatology life quality), and also fulfil other unmet needs of the topical dermatological market.


Franklin K Akomeah. Topical dermatological drug delivery: quo vadis? Current drug delivery. 2010 Oct;7(4):283-96

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PMID: 20695839

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