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Derm News: 2007.8(4)

Skin care products and subtle data manipulation

Clinics in Dermatology, March-April 2007;25(2):222-224
Ronni Wolf, Edith Orion and Batya Davidovici
ABSTRACT

The dermatologists of today need to master the skills to help their patients in choosing skin care products. As physicians and scientists, we are naturally inclined to trust sophisticated and objectively derived data that are published in scientific, peer-reviewed journals and are presented to us in the form of numbers, tables, and graphs.

The question that should be asked is whether a product that scored well in sophisticated tests is really superior and more suitable to the needs of our patients? Or, how far can we trust the data in scientific publications?

There is no generally accepted methodology for unbiased evaluation of the efficacy and performance of skin care products. There is also no consensus on which test method best reflects the real-life performance of these products. And, most importantly, even the most objective methods and measuring devices can be and often are manipulated to support the claims of superiority of given products. We will show several out of many, many ways of how the study design, protocols, techniques, and end points can legitimately be adapted to the special characteristics of the specific product, emphasizing its advantages.


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The Derm News service provided by the Editorial Consultants of Skin Therapy Letter© and its founding editor Dr. Stuart Maddin.