Melasma and Photodamage Patient Recruitment


Clinically Media was instrumental in enrolling a single-site study researching the effects of sunscreen on patients with melasma or photodamage.

The Details

The Challenge

Melasma affects approximately 5 million people in the United States and is most prevalent among women with darker skin pigments. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the melanocytes, found in darker skin, produce melanin, and melasma patients’ melanocytes make even more melanin in response to sunlight, heat, or hormonal changes. Patients with melasma develop light brown, dark brown, or blue-grey flat patches on their skin, typically around the face or forearms. Hormonal changes, sun exposure, and skin care products may trigger or worsen melasma.

Photodamage is known by various names, including photoaging, sun damage, solar damage, or photodamage and can affect people of all races and genders. Common symptoms include wrinkles, liver spots, freckles, uneven skin texture, and decreased elasticity. People with photodamage typically develop symptoms in their late twenties or early thirties. Similar to melasma, photodamage is triggered and worsened by sun exposure.

This study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of sunscreen in improving melasma and photodamage symptoms for women of color. Clinical trials have historically excluded communities of color and women, positioning “maleness” and “whiteness” as norms. Clinically Media strives to break down barriers to clinical research for patients of all marginalized communities by creating diverse and inclusive patient recruitment and retention campaigns for all clinical trials. Clinically Media was retained to recruit melasma or photodamage patients of color who self-identified as women and exceeded our goal number of referrals.

Additional Challenges

  • COVID-19 (site shutdowns, public’s fear of leaving home)

  • High screen-fail rate

  • New restrictions and regulations within digital advertising

Study Stats

  • 1 Research Site

  • 30 participants: site enrollment goal

  • 115 prequalified referrals from Clinically Media

Clinically Media's Solution


    Trackable digital campaign with an emphasis on highly targeted social media advertising delivered qualified referrals


    HIPAA compliant proprietary software allowed secure access to referrals’ contact information for site staff


    Internal tracking for each qualified referral helped achieve study’s enrollment goal


    Consistent, close communication and follow up with research site allowed us to provide an individualized recruitment strategy

Meticulous Approach

• Weekly updates to advertising images and captions to avoid saturating audiences

• Retargeting audiences through website data analysis 

• Adjusting advertisements’ radius using study’s inclusion criteria  

• Inclusive and diverse patient representation in advertising materials and audience creation

The first step in Clinically Media’s precision recruitment campaign strategy involves  extensive research on the indication. With that, the study’s advertising materials are  produced with diverse representation to ensure inclusivity in messaging and audience  targeting. The final designs along with close monitoring of the advertisement’s data, audience, and performance, generated 115 prequalified referrals. The Californian research site was able to reach their enrollment goal and fill the trial. 

The Clinically Media team is efficient and flexible. They brought new, customized solutions to our recruitment campaign for melasma patients, and they surpassed our goal number of referrals. We enjoyed working with them and hope to work together again in the future.
Dr. Dhawan, Center for Dermatology

Other Services Clinically Media Offers

Coordinator Training Materials

Including mobile apps, video, print manuals, tri-folds

Patient Training Materials

Including diaries, trackers, appointment reminders, videos, tri-folds, mobile apps, and more

Branding and Marketing

Including brand packages, logo design, social media, PR, IR

Patient Recruitment

Including digital, social media, grassroots, and traditional advertising methods

what our Partners say about us

Clinically Media has been a total success with our practice! The one-on-one professionalism and honest dedication to growing our population has been a resounding success. We look forward to our continuing relationship, thank you!

Study Coordinator

Windsor Dermatology/Psoriasis Treatment Center of Central New Jersey

Clinically Media exceeded our expectations in their recruitment support for Brickell’s two Phase 3 trials. They were efficient and nimble in providing both an umbrella recruitment strategy and customized support directly to sites to ensure our aggressive enrollment goal was met.

Clinical Operations, Project Manager

Brickell Biotech

A true partner from the very beginning -- Clinically Media is a go to team for establishing corporate branding and commercialization planning.  Whether our needs be complete website redesign, social media strategy or efficient market research execution, Clinically Media delivers on time, on budget, with quality work and creative recommendations.  I’d highly recommend this team as an extension of your own.

Commercial Marketing


Clinically Media delivered outstanding, high quality creative, visual and graphic web-based solutions within our agreed timelines. I enjoyed collaborating with Victoria and her team, and will definitely consider using their services for future clinical studies. I strongly recommend Clinically Media to other companies.

L. A. Romel

Principal at Lawrence Romel Consulting

Clinically Media’s efficiency and attention to detail contributed to the enrollment success of the Sahara axillary hyperhidrosis study.

Erin Tims, Senior Clinical Director

Candesant Biomedical

Clinically Media did very well and are easy to work with. Will work with them again in the future for sure. And their portal is easy to navigate. Keep doing what you're doing!

James, Study Coordinator

Windsor Dermatology/Eczema and Psoriasis Treatment Centers of NJ

The Clinically Media team is efficient and flexible. They brought new, customized solutions to our recruitment campaign for melasma patients, and they surpassed our goal number of referrals. We enjoyed working with them and hope to work together again in the future.

Dr. Dhawan

Center for Dermatology

We love working with the Clinically Media team. They provide professional, informed marketing advice and analytics, and they always create on-brand and engaging images and captions for Brickell’s social channels.

Chief Marketing Officer

Brickell Biotech

I can't say enough about the quality of work, responsiveness, and flexibility that Clinically Media brought to the project. I hope to have another project that needs Clinically Media's services.

Clinical Operations

Brickell Biotect

Communication was excellent! Worked well with changing a few things to bring in more referrals.

Clinical Research

Hamzavi Dermatology

We are so happy to have partnered with Clinically Media. Working in a small start up environment, we lacked not only resources but expertise. The ideas that CM brought to the table were innovative and fresh, and we saw our boost in enrollment immediately. Victoria and Brenda were not only flexible, but problem solvers -we are grateful to have worked with such a wonderful company.

Prism Study, Parkinson's Disease