MAR 2014

MedEsthetics—business education for medical practitioners—provides the latest noninvasive cosmetic procedures, treatment trends, product and equipment reviews, legal issues and medical aesthetics industry news.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 72 of 74

NEWSMAKERS | © THINKSTOCK Online programs like Clear Clinic@ Home and are reaching out to acne sufferers who never find their way to a dermatologist. Online Acne Care By Linda W. Lewis 68 MARCH 2014 | Med Esthetics Eric Schweiger, MD, had been in private practice in New York for several years when he began asking himself if there wasn't a better way to help patients battling acne. In November 2012, he opened Clear Clinic (, a dedicated acne treatment center within Schweiger Dermatology. The Clinic's mission is to bring a patient-centered approach to acne treatments and acne scarring. Dr. Schweiger and his staff of dermatologists, physician assistants, licensed clinical estheticians, makeup artists and mental health professionals provide patients with complete care—from extractions and cortisone injections to cutting-edge lasers and fi llers. In just a few months, Clear Clinic amassed thousands of happy patients and has since expanded to three Manhattan locations, with a fourth in the works. In addition, Dr. Schweiger has expanded the concept to include a product line and a web-based acne care program. "When I began researching acne, I found that while it affects 50 million people in the United States, only 10 million ever consult a dermatologist about the problem. I also noted that while many dermatologists are specializing in antiaging treat- ments, approaches to acne have stagnated," says Dr. Schwei- ger. "When we looked at available over-the-counter acne products, we found there was little new, with the majority of nonprescription formulations relying on benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid." He worked with formulators to develop the Clear Clinic Laboratories line, which features 19 nonprescrip- tion products with high-end, effective ingredients. "Our goal was not to be just another product company," says Dr. Schweiger. "My research also showed that the two biggest problems physicians faced when treating acne patients were poor compliance and misuse of products. Some patients stop using products after a couple of weeks; others repeatedly use irritating products meant to be used only once a day. It was clear to me that topical products alone would not offer an effective solution." That realization led him to Clear Clinic@ Home, an online, personalized professional acne treatment program that launched on January 7, 2014. To enroll in the Clear Clinic@Home Personalized Acne Treatment Program, patients log on to the Clear Clinic website and complete a short quiz that allows a Clear Clinic Personal Acne Coach to customize a product kit for them. For $87.50 per month, patients receive a one-month supply of up to four products chosen specifi cally for them and monthly consulta- tions via live video, e-chat or telephone, as well as unlimited email consultations with their Personal Acne Coach. Dermatologists Reagan Anderson, MD, and Steven Grekin, MD, who have a practice in Colorado Springs, Colorado, have also been treating acne patients online through their dedicated website While their goals are similar to those of Dr. Schweiger, the approach is a little different. They charge a monthly fee, $49.99, which includes monthly email consultations. The patient logs on to the website, answers questions and uploads photos. The doctors review the photos and information, and send the patient a treatment plan for approval. Treatment products, which include the doc- tors' own product line, as well as prescription drugs provided through an online pharmacy, are mailed directly to the patient but charged separately from the monthly fee. Each month, the patient answers another questionnaire and adjustments are made to the treatment plan as needed. Dr. Schweiger thinks the coaching his program provides is just as important as the products, and agrees that not every- one can be helped with nonprescription products. "Our team of professionals is trained to refer patients to dermatologists in their area if they need a prescription medication or hands-on care. Any patient who does not respond to our products after a reasonable trial will be referred to a dermatologist," he says. "We are working on developing a network of physicians we can trust. Not every dermatologist likes to treat acne. It has an emotional component as well as a physical component, and success often depends on your ability to address both. Eventu- ally, we would like to have a Clear Clinic in every state." Linda W. Lewis is a contributing editor to MedEsthetics. N e w s m a k e r s M E D 3 1 4 . i n d d 6 8 Newsmakers MED314.indd 68 2 / 1 1 / 1 4 4 : 0 2 P M 2/11/14 4:02 PM

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Medesthetics - MAR 2014