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Background. Facial erythema is a common postsurgical and dermatologic problem. It is commonly the result of dermal inflammation arising from either a facial surgical procedure, such as laser resurfacing, dermabrasion, or a face peel, or from an underlying dermatologic condition, such as rosacea. Facial erythema is difficult for the dermatologist to treat in both settings because topical corticosteroids cannot be used long term on the thin facial skin and anti-inflammatory oral or topical antibiotics have associated side effects.

Objective. The goal of this pilot study was to evaluate the anti-inflammatory effect of 1% 4-ethoxybenzaldehyde in a rosacea model of facial erythema.

Methods. Thirty subjects with mild to moderate stable rosacea were enrolled in this 4-week, double-blind, vehicle-controlled study. Photographs, investigator assessment, and subject assessment were the efficacy criteria.

Results. There was a statistically significant reduction in facial erythema (p<.01) in those subjects who used the active for 4 weeks, as well as a statistically significant improvement in uneven skin tone (p<.01) and the overall severity of the disease (p<.01). There was no statistically significant difference in any of these three indices in the vehicle-treated group.

Conclusion. The results suggest that benzaldehyde-derived anti-inflammatory agents may be useful in reducing facial erythema in a rosacea model.

THIS STUDY WAS FUNDED BY AN EDUCATIONAL GRANT FROM CUTANIX CORPORATION. ZOE DRAELOS, MD, HAS INDICATED NO SIGNIFICANT INTEREST WITH COMMERCIAL SUPPORTERS. BRYAN FULLER, PHD, IS THE INVENTOR OF THE ACTIVE, WHICH WAS LICENSED THROUGH THE OKLAHOMA HEALTH SCIENCES CENTER TO CUTANIX.