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Local researcher finds skincare product does more than just heal

By Tim Farley

Researcher and scientist Bryan Fuller has helped a lot of cancer patients forced to undergo dozens of radiation treatments that typically leave burns on the body.

Fuller, who earned his doctorate in cell biology and biochemistry from the University of Arizona, developed a skincare product known as DermaRad, which helps patients maintain a normal skin appearance. Because Dermarad has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Fuller can’t publicly claim the product prevents burns.

However, those who have used the product can and do make those claims.

Fuller’s cousin, Ruth Pugel, was preparing to undergo radiation treatment for breast cancer in 2004 when she called and asked if there was any treatment that would keep her body safe from the effects of radiation.

“I sent her four or five tubes of it (DermaRad) and she used the product for 35 (radiation) treatments and had no burns,” Fuller said. “That’s really how DermaRad got its life.”

Pugel, who lives just outside Cleveland, Ohio, said the product worked miracles and she has since referred other people to Fuller.

“I can look at my chest now and one side is the same color as the other,” she said. “I had no problems with burning or redness at all. I feel very fortunate that the DermaRad worked and that I’ve been cancer free for the last 9 ½ years.”

The lack of burning surprised Pugel’s doctor as well.

“I got a call from her radiation oncologist wondering what we did,” Fuller recalled.

Now, DermaRad is used in cancer centers in Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and Wyoming.

“It’s used by patients all over the country,” Fuller said. “It’s been a groundswell movement as people discover the web site and purchase the product. We have all kinds of testimonials.”

Fuller was a professor in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center for more than 20 years before retiring in 2007 to devote his efforts to DermaMedics, an Oklahoma City-based pharmaceutical skincare company he founded in 2009.

The beginning

However, DermaRad may never have been discovered if not for Fuller’s father, who suffered from a severe case of psoriasis.

“It was all over his body and it got worse as he got older,” Fuller recalled. “He would wear a shirt and by the end of the day it would be bloody. It probably covered 90 percent of his body, his arms, legs and back.”

As an autoimmune disease, psoriasis treatments including steroids often can create other problems such as weakening a person’s immune system.

“As a researcher I was fascinated with inflammation and what’s out there that can treat these issues. I started reading about inflammation skin problems and thought this is ridiculous. There has to be something out there that can fix this for my dad,” Fuller said.

As a result, he began his quest to find safe, gentle and natural compound that could treat inflammation problems topically while keeping the immune system intact.

In 2001, Fuller and his research team began examining specific compounds with inflammatory markers.

“We worked on it until we discovered this family of natural chemical compounds and we absolutely went through hundreds and hundreds before we hit on the right one,” he said.

The initial ingredient that hit the mark was Therosol, a flavoring agent that has FDA approval and is a naturally occurring compound found in household staples like basil and nutmeg. It also has natural anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties, and can provide pain relief for patients with other skin problems such as acne, rosacea and eczema.

Fuller points out that DermaRad and the company’s other skincare products relieve pain and itching without the potentially toxic side effects associated with topical corticosteroids and immunosuppressive drugs.

By 2004, Fuller had built the first product for his father and two years later he had discovered an entire family of compounds that would comprise DermaMedics’ skincare line.

“The first thing my compound did (for his father) was get rid of all the itching and scratching. Within six weeks 50 percent of the psoriasis was gone,” Fuller said.

After seeing the positive results with his father’s psoriasis, Fuller knew his discovery would likely work on other skin conditions.

“We thought after seeing what happened with my dad that it might be good for burns,” he recalled.

As a result, Fuller and his research team conducted an in-house clinical study that demonstrated the compound with Therosol prevented burns to human skin.

“We were like ‘Wow, this could be great,’” Fuller said.
As more research was conducted, a different formulation was developed for DermaRad, which Fuller said saves a radiation patient’s quality of life.

“We’ve never had a patient who was using the product stop their radiation treatments,” he said.

Typically, radiation oncologists and their nurses don’t trust the products to work until the patients show no signs of redness or burning.

“They don’t believe in the products until later in the (radiation) treatments,” Fuller said. “Then, they see that the skin shows no signs of redness or burns. Because this is a cosmetic product, we can’t make claims that there will be no burning. But what we can say is it will leave a patient with normal looking skin.”

An estimated 1.2 million people undergo radiation treatments annually in the U.S., he said.

Business plan

As the DermaMedic product line continues to expand and become more popular, Fuller still is looking for more investors who can push the company to the next level. Currently, he is targeting $1.4 million in new financing so the firm can expand its sales force and take the products nationwide.

In a 2012 interview with, Fuller said a few of his business goals were to hit $15 million in nationwide sales and to eventually be acquired by a major international skin care or dermatology company that would leave DermaMedics intact as a subsidiary.

At this point, DermaMedic products are sold to 320 physicians in 11 states. In those cases, the physicians recommend the products to patients.

“They are therapeutic products, not products that smell good,” Fuller said.
For more information about the company, visit More information on

DermaRad can be seen at

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