The hair and beauty industry publication, Cosmetics Business reports that, Nestle-owned dermatology research company, Galderma was granted a US patent (10,328,094) on 25th June 2019 for a compound designed to prevent folliculitis.
Folliculitis is an inflammation of the hair follicles, often of a bacterial or fungal origin. There are also viral and non-infectious forms.
In people whose hair is cut with razors or clippers – particularly those with closely shaved haircuts – if these tools have not been properly disinfected, this can also lead to folliculitis.
Folliculitis is traditionally found more frequently in black men and women, though it can affect people of any race or hair type.
It is also believed to affect up to 85 per cent of chemotherapy patients, according to research stats published in the Cancer Management and Research medical journal. This is the specific type of folliculitis the Galderma product is hoping to treat.
Treating folliculitis caused by cancer treatment
The avermectin family of medications are relatively new; the biologist William C. Campbell and biochemist Satoshi Ōmura received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2015 for discovering this suite of drugs.
Avermectin derivatives are known to treat a number of bacteria-related infections and parasitic diseases. In this case the anti-inflammatory ivermectin, a more potent and less toxic derivative of avermectin, is one of the preferred compounds detailed in the US patent application for the treatment or prevention of folliculitis.
Ivermectin it is currently used to treat a number of conditions including rosacea and acne, and can be used as an ingredient in a number of topical pharmaceutical and cosmetic products. These include corticosteroids, antifungals, antibiotics and retinoids. It can also be mixed with anti-cancer agents.
The claims submitted in Galderma’s patent application cover “A method of treating folliculitis caused by an anti-cancer agent, the method comprising administering an effective amount of a compound of the avermectin family to an individual subject in need thereof, wherein the folliculitis exhibits proliferation of Staphylococcus aureus,” and “wherein the anti-cancer agent is a chemotherapy agent or a targeted-therapy agent.”
It specifically lists the suite of drugs its patent relates to, as follows: “the compound of the avermectin family is selected from the group consisting of ivermectin, avermectin, abamectin, doramectin, eprinomectin, selamectin, aversectin B, AB or C, emamectin B1b or latidectin.”
With regard to the the form the product may take, the patent advises, “the composition is in a form suitable for topical administration… in the form of an emulsion, cream, lotion, gel, solution or salve.”
The latest patent was awarded in America but previous patents have already been received in Europe.
The key signs of folliculitis
The itchy infection can present in any hair-bearing areas of the head and body, including the neck, thighs, pubic area and armpits.
Key signs to look out for when diagnosing folliculitis include red bumps and spots with a white head located around the hair follicles. When these affect the scalp, they tend to appear at the nape (folliculitis nuchae) then, should adjacent follicles become infected, it can spread to these areas too.
Where the condition is severe, these may turn into hard, raised sores, known as keloids, which do not heal.
Current treatments for folliculitis involve topical antibiotics, as well as antibactierial washes to keep the affected area clean. Where the infection is chronic or particularly severe, oral antibiotics may be prescribed. Treatment is generally dispensed by a doctor or dermatologist. Belgravia does not currently treat folliculitis.
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