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Acne Medication Market Size By Formulation (Topical, Oral), By Product (Retinoids, Antibiotics, Salicylic Acid, Benzoyl Peroxide, Azelaic Acid), By Type (Prescription, OTC), By Acne Type (Inflammatory Acne, Non-Inflammatory Acne), By Distribution Channel (Retail Stores, Pharmacies & Drug Stores, E-commerce), COVID-19 Impact Analysis, Regional Outlook, Growth Potential, Price Trends, Competitive Market Share & Forecast, 2021 – 2027

  • Report ID: GMI3010
  • Published Date: Jun 2021
  • Report Format: PDF

Industry Trends

Acne Medication Market size was valued over USD 8.6 billion in 2020 and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of more than 6% between 2021 and 2027.

Acne Medication Market Overview

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Rising prevalence of acne ailments globally is the prime factor driving the acne medication market growth. Adoption of unhealthy lifestyle by teenagers and increasing acceptance of skin care solutions are the other factors contributing to the market expansion. Availability and emergence of broad variety of products such as lotions, creams and gels constituting antibiotic agents and complementary benefits pertaining to their use would increase the demand for acne medication products.

Acne or acne vulgaris is a common skin condition majorly caused when the hair follicles are blocked due to excessive oil secretion, dirt and dead skin cells. It is accompanied by pimples, whiteheads, blackheads or scarring. Acne are categorized into two types, namely inflammatory and non-inflammatory acne. Acne treatment comprises removal of dead skin cells, reducing sebum secretion, and eliminating the bacteria using drugs and medication.

The type of treatment advised to an individual depends on the severity of the acne outbreak. In cases of mild acne, OTC drugs are preferred; although in moderate to severe acne problem, dermatologists offer prescription drugs. These drugs are regulated by the U.S. FDA under provisions of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act encompassing prescription as well as non-prescription drugs. Both the prescription and OTC drugs are mandated to obtain a marketing approval by the FDA for commercialization of the product. OTC drugs are closely monitored by the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research's (CDER) Office of Nonprescription Drugs. These drugs are required to develop OTC drug monographs that contains essential information regarding the acceptable doses, ingredients, labelling, safety and efficacy.

Companies are allowed to market OTC product once the OTC drug monograph is implemented. While in case of prescription drugs, the manufacturer has to file new drug application (NDA) for premarket approval and has to comply with the lengthy and tedious regulatory process. Additionally, the FDA has issued guidelines related to the use of medications such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, resorcinol in fixed and permitted combinations and concentrations. Thus, the lengthy regulatory processes, stringent labelling requirements and FDA compliances might slow down the market value.

Some medications used in acne treatment are reported to have severe adverse effects on health. For instance, isotretinoin, an oral drug used in acne treatment has been associated with several ill effects, especially for pregnant women. This drug can cause severe birth defects in the developing fetus of a pregnant woman. Other products constituting isotretinoin can potentially cause mental health problems along with adverse effects such as itching, muscle aches, nose bleeding, poor night vision and changes in liver function among others.

The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented health concern across the world and has negatively impacted the acne medication market. The outbreak of coronavirus has caused disruption in sourcing the raw materials, logistics & supply chain and forced the authorities to implement travel restrictions limiting the movement of goods. Preserving essential health care resources was prioritized in the wake of COVID-19, wherein the dermatologists were instructed to address only the critical cases. Dermatological examination mandates a close inspection of the patient and often palpation, hence avoiding close contact and maintaining adequate distance during examination is challenging. Scheduled appointments with dermatologists and majority of acne related issues were referred to as non-emergent leading to their suspension considering the risk involved due to transmission.

The cancellation or postponing of these appointments hampered the demand for acne medication. However, the emergence of telemedicine and growing practice of online consultations for skin related ailments including acne treatment will uplift the acne medication market revenue. Teledermatology became increasingly renowned platform for addressing dermatologic concerns at low cost, higher efficiency, and greater flexibility to dermatologists and patients. According to a published survey, more than 80% of the dermatologists in the U.S. and India provided teledermatology through video consultation for addressing several skin aliments including acne and inflammatory skin diseases. Thus, the pandemic has adversely impacted the acne medication, although growing use of telemedicine and reducing number of infected people are set to boost the market to pre-pandemic levels during the forecast timeline.

Increasing prevalence of severe acne problems will foster the acne medication market progression

Growing prevalence of acne vulgaris-associated diseases is expected to surge the demand for acne medication. As per the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) report, around 85% of young adults aged 12 to 25 years are affected owing to acne vulgaris. Acne persistently represents one of the commonly prevalent skin ailments in the general population in North America region. Studies showcase that in North America around 12% to 22% women suffer from acne sometime in their adult life. The growing number of people suffering from acne would increase the need for drugs and medications used in acne treatment. Acne affects around 50 million people in the U.S. on annual basis.

Several factors such as unhealthy lifestyle, diet and smoking, hormonal changes and excessive secretion of sebum among others has resulted in growing prevalence of acne. Moreover, according to a dermatology survey, the number of people affected due to acne is high in the westernized societies that comprises of North American region as well. The disease burden of acne exhibits distribution throughout the North American region and has consistently grown in prevalence over the years with rising population. This continued expansion highlights unmet dermatologic needs for the disease and potential business opportunities for enhanced access and delivery of acne therapeutics.

Several benefits associated with use of topical formulation in acne treatment will accelerate the industry expansion

The topical segment in the acne medication market is projected to expand at 5.8% growth rate through 2027 led by the better accessibility and availability of topical products. Topical formulations represent the first line of products used in acne treatment and are directly applied on the infected skin area. These formulations are primarily used in managing mild acne as monotherapy and also in combination with other therapeutics. Many topical ointments are widely available as OTC products that do not require prescription. The topical medications also help in quick suppression of acne, thereby offering rapid relief to the patient.

High effectivity and ability to be used along with wide range of drugs in treatment of moderate to severe acne will facilitate the industrial expansion

The retinoids segment held 28% of the acne medication market share in 2020 impelled by the high effectivity in treating moderate to severe acne and unblocks pores enabling other therapeutics to function properly. Topical retinoids emphasize on the microcomedo–precursor lesion of acne. Retinoids are primarily used as first-line therapy, alone or preferably in combination with other drugs based on the severity of acne. They are extensively used to manage severe inflammatory acne and also highly preferred as a maintenance therapy agent. Further, retinoids minimize follicular blockage and reduces microcomedones in non-inflammatory as well as inflammatory acne. Thus, pertaining to higher effectivity and compatibility during combined use with other drugs, retinoids would stimulate the industry progression during the forecast timeline.

Rising prevalence of severe acne will promote the prescription segment value

The acne medication market for prescription segment accounted for USD 4.6 billion in 2020 driven by the use of wide range of prescription medications in combination to offer optimal acne treatment. Prescription acne products including antibiotics are generally used in combination with benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid or topical retinoid. The prescription drugs comparatively possess higher strength than the OTC products. This offers a highly effective combination in order to treat severe inflammatory acne problems. Moreover, inappropriate or high usage of self-medications and OTC products may lead to significant ill effects.

Relatively high pain and scarring associated with inflammatory acne will expedite the segment growth

The inflammatory acne segment in the acne medication market exceeded USD 4.8 billion in 2020. Inflammatory acne is characterized with symptoms such as redness, swelling, and deeply blocked pores with dirt, bacteria, and dead skin cells. Propionibacterium acnes is the bacteria that converts normal non-inflammatory acne into inflamed acne. Propionibacterium colonizes the path of sebaceous follicle generating an immune response causing redness and swelling. Owing to higher pain and scarring associated with inflammatory acne, the demand for acne medication is slated to rise substantially.

Wide-spread network of brick and mortar stores is poised to promote the market demand

Acne Medication Market Size

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Retail stores segment dominated more than 51% of the acne medication market share in 2020 and is predicted to reach USD 6.4 billion by 2027 due to easy accessibility and wide presence of retail stores globally. Extensive marketing and promotional activities by the prominent players to increase the product visibility and brand penetration is raising awareness related to acne care options. Growing awareness regarding acne medication options will drive the acceptance of OTC products for acne care. High number of new entrants entering the market with a broad variety of products for the consumers to choose from will increase product penetration.

High percentage of people suffering from acne diseases in the North America region will augment the regional growth

Global Acne Medication Market

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U.S. dominated the North America acne medication market in 2020 and captured over 91% of revenue share and is estimated to attain a CAGR of 5.8% during 2021 to 2027 propelled by the high prevalence of acne disease and availability of advanced acne medication options in the country. Acne vulgaris is a prevalent skin condition affecting over 50 million people in the U.S. Improper diet, high consumption of fast-food, and heavy usage of chemical-based cosmetic products are some of the factors responsible for rising number of acne problems among the population.

Germany accounted for 22% of revenue share in 2020 across the Europe acne medication market and is projected to surpass USD 428 million by 2027 owing to the growing economic burden of acne disease, rising disposable income and increasing use of OTC products in acne treatment in the country. The rising number of patients suffering from skin problems including acne is consistently surging, further increasing the economic burden of diseases. As per a published research, acne medication associated costs accounts for approximately 400 million Euros every year. Growing use of OTC products for self-management of acne medication would further push the product demand. A survey conducted among the pharmacies in the country highlighted that 35% of patients prefer self-treatment of mild acne using OTC products.

Strategies adopted by major industry players will spur the market value

Some of the major companies operating in the acne medication market are Allergan plc, Galderma S.A., Reckitt Benckiser Group, Johnson & Johnson, Guthy-Renker, Valeant Pharmaceuticals, Bayer AG, and others. These prominent participants concentrate on adoption of strategic initiatives such as forward integration, mergers & acquisitions and new product launches in order to bolster the revenue share. Furthermore, these leaders are investing in research and development activities that enables them to garner maximum revenue in the industry.

Recent industry developments:

  • In April 2021, Galderma announced launch of Aklief used in acne treatment product in South Korea. This product selectively exploits the retinoid receptor gamma present in the retinoic acid receptor (RAR) in the skin, thereby facilitating rapid and effective acne treatment. This strategic move will assist the company in expanding its business operations in South Korea.
  • In January 2021, GlaxoSmithKline announced research collaboration with Eligo Bioscience. The Eligobiotics treatment for acne vulgaris incorporates novel CRISPR-based therapeutic technology. This strategic collaboration is expected to accelerate research and development activities, further offering competitive advantage to the company.

Acne medication market research report includes an in-depth coverage of the industry with estimates & forecast in terms of revenue in USD from 2016 to 2027, for the following segments:

Market, By Formulation, 2016 - 2027 (USD Million)

  • Topical
  • Oral

Market, By Product, 2016 - 2027 (USD Million)

  • Retinoids
  • Antibiotics
  • Salicylic Acid
  • Benzoyl Peroxide
  • Azelaic Acid
  • Others

Market, By Type, 2016 - 2027 (USD Million)

  • Prescription
  • OTC

Market, By Acne Type, 2016 - 2027 (USD Million)

  • Inflammatory Acne
  • Non-Inflammatory Acne

Market, By Distribution Channel, 2016 - 2027 (USD Million)

  • Retail Stores
  • Pharmacies & Drug Stores
  • E-commerce

The above information is provided for the following regions and countries:

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Canada
  • Europe
    • Germany
    • UK
    • France
    • Italy
    • Spain
  • Asia Pacific
    • China
    • Japan
    • India
    • South Korea
    • Australia
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Mexico
    • Argentina
  • Middle East & Africa
    • Saudi Arabia
    • South Africa
    • UAE
Authors: Sumant Ugalmugle, Rupali Swain

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) :

The market for acne medication was over USD 8.6 billion in 2020 and should witness a CAGR of 6% through 2027.

Retinoids segment held more than 28% share of acne medication industry in 2020 and is growing due to higher effectiveness in treating moderate to severe acne.

Prescription acne medication market generated more than USD 4.6 billion during 2020 and will expand due to higher strength of these drugs compared to most OTC products.

Retail stores accounted for over 51% of acne medication sales in 2020 and could register gains worth USD 6.4 billion by 2027.

U.S. captured over 91% of North America acne medication industry in 2020 and is likely to expand at a CAGR of 5.8% through 2027.

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Premium Report Details

  • Base Year: 2020
  • Companies covered: 13
  • Tables & Figures: 306
  • Countries covered: 18
  • Pages: 200

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