What happens to new technologies?

I use a plugin on my web browser that allows me to read web pages at a later time.  There is so often that I see something that has an interesting headline but I don’t have time at the moment to read it.  I just click on “Read it Later” (guess it’s called Pocket now) and it saves the link for me to check out later.  Right now I’ve got 1927 things to read.  lol.

Since I started using the plugin around 2009, I’ve got some links that are almost 3 years old.  Typically, I go through and check out the list when I have a chance, but some of the older stories get passed up.  This story about a new treatment for skin eczema is one of those stories.

Technological discovery

The story is interesting enough.  Scientists found that when they give kids who have eczema a bath in a dilute bleach solution, it reduced the negative aspects of eczema including less itching and redness.  The story was from 2009, so I wondered whether this technology has made its way into any skin lotions.

Doctors suggestions

Well, I found a reference from the Mayo Clinic suggesting that a bleach bath could help reduce eczema.  That was dated August 2011.  Then it seemed that lots of people were recommending a bleach bath to treat eczema.

Cosmetic marketers

The first reference to a cosmetic product that I found was this video produced by CLn Skin Care.  They say that their body wash in addition to a bleach bath can reduce eczema.  Interesting.  They try to leverage the technology without actually adding it to their formulations.  That video was produced in April 2012.

Now, it looks like they’ve incorporated it into their formulation.  Their CLn BodyWash contains sodium hypochlorite.  Other cosmetic manufacturers have taken the same idea and used Triclosan and Benzalkonium chloride as the “bleach technology” in their formulations.

So, it looks like it took about 2 years for this technology to go from the research journals into cosmetic products.  It still hasn’t been incorporated into any big cosmetic company brand but if these products do well, it likely will.

I doubt that this short technology adoption time is typical.  This technology was pretty simple using ingredients that already existed and have already been used in cosmetic products.  For most breakthroughs, that will not be the case.  The technology I worked on (for which I received my first patent) took nearly 5 years before we launched a product.



August 8, 2020
Chemists Corner

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