Perricone, Nicholas V. 1948(?)–

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PERRICONE, Nicholas V. 1948(?)–

PERSONAL: Born c. 1948, in Branford, CT; son of Vincent (a stonemason) and Mary (a homemaker) Perricone; married (divorced, 1986); married, 1995; second wife's name, Madeleine (a homemaker); children: (first marriage) Nicholas, Jeffrey; (second marriage) Caitlin. Education: Michigan State University Medical School, M.D.

ADDRESSES: Office—N. V. Perricone, M.D., Ltd., 377 Research Parkway, Meriden, CT 06450; fax: 203-379-0817. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Dermatologist and author. Worked in private practice, Meriden, CT, beginning 1986; Yale University Medical School, New Haven, CT, assistant clinical professor of dermatology, ending 2002; Veterans' Hospital, CT, chief of dermatology; founder of N. V. Perricone, M.D., Cosmeceuticals, 1999, and of a Madison Avenue boutique, New York, NY, c. 2004. Michigan State University's College of Human Medicine, adjunct professor of medicine, c. 2002–; International Symposium on Aging Skin, chair. Also worked for CT Muscular Dystrophy Association; as a salesperson for McKesson Chemical Co., mid-1970s; and as a fragrance salesperson. Holds dozens of U.S. and international patents for the treatment of skin and systemic disease. Producer of television ocumentaries for Public Broadcast Service. Military service: U.S. Army Reserves, ending 1971.

MEMBER: New York Academy of Sciences (fellow), American College of Nutrition (fellow), American Academy of Dermatology (fellow), Society of Investigative Dermatology (fellow).

AWARDS, HONORS: Norman E. Clark, Sr., Lecture Award, 2000, American College for Advancement in Medicine; Eli Whitney Award, Connecticut Intellectual Property Law Association, 2002, for contributions to science, invention, and technology.

WRITINGS:

The Wrinkle Cure: Unlock the Power of Cosmeceuticals for Supple, Youthful Skin, Rodale (Emmaus, PA), 2000.

The Perricone Prescription: A Physician's Twenty-eight-Day Program for Total Body and Face Rejuvenation Daybook, HarperResource (New York, NY), 2002.

The Acne Prescription: The Perricone Program for Clear and Healthy Skin at Every Age, HarperResource (New York, NY), 2003.

The Perricone Promise: Look Younger, Live Longer in Three Easy Steps, Warner Books (New York, NY), 2004.

Contributor to The Basic Principles and Practice of Anti-Aging Medicine and Age Management for the Aesthetic Physician and Surgeon, 2003; contributor to journals, including Skin and Aging; Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, member of editorial board.

ADAPTATIONS: The Wrinkle Cure: Unlock the Power of Cosmeceuticals for Supple, Youthful Skin was adapted for audio, Simon and Schuster Audio, 2001.

SIDELIGHTS: Nicholas V. Perricone is a board-certified clinical and research dermatologist and the founder of N. V. Perricone, M.D., Cosmeceuticals. After completing his internship in pediatrics at Yale University Medical School, Perricone did his residency at Henry Ford Hospital in Michigan. There, he first theorized that wrinkles, which are often accompanied by inflammation, could be treated with antioxidants that reduce this cellular inflammation. He began his practice in 1986 in Meriden, Connecticut, and attempted to demonstrate his theories to companies that included Johnson & Johnson. When they expressed no interest, he decided to write his first book, The Wrinkle Cure: Unlock the Power of Cosmeceuticals for Supple, Youthful Skin. Perricone proposes that by eating a diet rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids (he emphasizes the value of eating salmon), as well as by applying topical antioxidants like vitamin C and alpha lipoic acid, skin can be kept healthy and the effects of aging and other damage can be reversed.

Perricone's claims have been met with skepticism by several medical professionals. Dr. Jeffrey Dover, a clinical associate professor of dermatology at the Yale University School of Medicine, told People reviewer Galina Espinoza that "to suggest that altering your diet will slow down the aging process is not believable to most dermatologists." "Yet," said Espinoza, "Dover admits that 'some of [Perricone's] products make sense; his diet is really good. And the guy is a brilliant marketer.'"

Perricone's line of cosmeceuticals, which were originally introduced in upscale department stores like Nordstrom, was a more-than-$50 million annual business by 2003, and the celebrities who swore by his products included actresses Julia Roberts and Kim Cattrall. Along with his line of skincare products, Perricone also promotes a diet that includes fruits and vegetables, adequate water, good fats like olive oil and nuts, and lean protein. Perricone became an adjunct professor at Michigan State University's College of Human Medicine c. 2002 and has since become a major donor to the university, beginning with his $5 million pledge to establish the Perricone Division of Dermatology there.

Sally Beatty noted in the Wall Street Journal that, "Many dermatologists claim an inherent conflict of interest exists between doctors administering care and selling their own products…. Others go a step further, saying Dr. Perricone hasn't proved some of his more sensational claims." Perricone has stated that since his products are sold through stores and he sees only a limited number of patients, the conflict argument does not apply to him. "And he defends the more sensational language in The Wrinkle Cure," noted Beatty, "by saying it is a lot more responsible than the often exaggerated claims made by cosmetics companies in magazine advertising. 'The cosmetic industry has an awful one hundred-year history of making incredible promises and then basically putting oil and water and emulsions in a jar,' says Dr. Perricone."

Perricone's books all promote the same healthy lifestyle. The Perricone Prescription: A Physician's Twenty-eight-Day Program for Total Body and Face Rejuvenation Daybook was a best-seller. He continues to promote a diet devoid of starchy foods and writes that some foods, for example cereals, bananas, and breads, all of which have a high glycemic index, cause a spike in blood sugar that prompts an insulin response by the body, thereby storing, rather than burning fat, and leading to inflammation. He offers a month's worth of menus, plus a three-day plan to kick-start results. Perricone recommends an exercise program and spends approximately one third of the book discussing antioxidants, vitamin supplements, and creams.

As a Publishers Weekly reviewer pointed out, The Acne Prescription: The Perricone Program for Clear and Healthy Skin at Every Age repeats the advice found in Perricone's other books, but the contributor felt that the book may interest new readers. The work targets readers of all ages, and particularly adolescents and young adults with acne. In addition to his twenty-eight-day diet program, he offers information on yoga exercises and dietary supplements that may help improve skin. The reviewer felt that although Perricone's theories are not embraced by some in the dermatological field, "one can hardly argue against a regimen that dictates a healthy diet, regular exercise, and good hygiene."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Flare (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), November, 2002, review of The Perricone Prescription: A Physician's Twenty-eight-Day Program for Total Body and Face Rejuvenation Daybook, p. 88.

Knight-Ridder Tribune News Service, May 24, 2004, Soo Youn, "Celebrity Dermatologist to Open Flagship Boutique in NYC," p. 1.

Library Journal, June 1, 2003, Susan B. Hagloch, review of The Perricone Prescription, p. 85.

Nutrition Action Health Letter, July-August, 2003, "A New Wrinkle," p. 6.

People, September 9, 2002, Galina Espinoza, "Very Berry Smooth: Dr. Nicholas Perricone Says the Secret to Young Skin Lies in Salmon and Blueberries," p. 101.

Publishers Weekly, March 6, 2000, review of The Wrinkle Cure: Unlock the Power of Cosmeceuticals for Supple, Youthful Skin, p. 101; July 8, 2002, review of The Perricone Prescription, p. 47; August 18, 2003, review of The Acne Prescription: The Perricone Program for Clear and Healthy Skin at Every Age, p. 76.

Time, October 21, 2002, Andrea Sachs, "Skin Deep: A Dermatologist Says He Can Reverse Wrinkles. Others Are Unconvinced" (interview), p. A11.

Wall Street Journal, November 14, 2003, Sally Beatty, "New Wrinkle," p. A1.

Washington Post, December 17, 2002, Stefanie Weiss, review of The Perricone Prescription, p. F1.

ONLINE

Nicholas V. Perricone Home Page, http://www.nvperriconemd.com (July 14, 2004).