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Acne - poorly treated for almost a third of patients

I have regularly discussed the emotional impact of acne with patients and it worries me how poorly treated many seem to be. In this survey, not only were a third of patients unhappy with their treatment but a staggaring 46% reported having experienced verbal abuse from friends and family due to their acne and 1 in 5 had seen a relationship end as a result! I think the real message here is that as the first point of contact with an acne sufferer, GP’s need to bear in mind that acne has a major social impact on sufferers and also a real effect on mental health with many having depression and 16% self harming as a result. Even more worrying were the 17% who had considered suicide.

The acne treatment ladder is simple and works well in most cases and patients should not be afraid to ask their practitioner to take them through it and question their individual treatment in comparison. There seems to be a reluctance to add retinoid creams into the treatment mix even though they are part of the first line treatment regimen in most cases and make a big difference to outcomes. It is also crucial to refer patients with cystic acne to a dermatologist quickly to get on top of it and prevent scarring.  

The survery report can be found here: http://www.britishskinfoundation.org.uk/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=tIFlm8Xu0F8%3D&tabid=172

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