What Are the Chances That You’ll Stick With Your Acne Treatment?

Does this buyer’s dilemma sound familiar? You’re at the drug store, glancing over the acne products shelf and ponder, “If I buy this acne treatment, will it work or will I end up throwing it out in a few days?”

Researchers secretly posed this question to acne patients to find an answer. The study, published in the May 2005 edition British Journal of Dermatology aimed to assess patient compliance with various acne treatments.

The study happened at a dermatology outpatient clinic where researchers questioned patients with acne who were using isotretinoin or other conventional acne treatments.

Study participants completed a questionnaire that asked about their medical and social history and their level of compliance with the acne treatment directions. The researchers also examined the participant’s general level of happiness with their skin, in a standard questionnaire called Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI).

Three months later patients were re-examined. Their actual treatment usage was directly assessed and compared with expected use. Researchers call this determinant “medication adherence” (actual acne treatment usage versus expected acne treatment usage).

According to the findings of the study, the less satisfied you are with the condition of your skin, the less likely you are to strictly adhere to the instructions of your acne treatment. Then again, as you age, chances that you will adhere to the guidelines of your acne treatment increase.

In general, females, spouses, employees and persons not paying for prescriptions were most likely to follow the regimen for their specific acne treatment while they also felt better about the condition of their skin compared to study participants.

Briefly, the success of any acne program has as much to do with the acne patient’s willingness to compromise as it does with the effectiveness of the acne treatment.

Furthermore, Alexa Boer Kimball, MD, assistant professor of dermatology at Harvard University, explained that “myths are still affecting how patients care for their acne,” at the 63rd Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology.

So, what can you do to increase your chances of getting rid of zits with your acne treatment?

    1. Select an acne treatment that is based on clinical research.

    2. Choose an acne treatment that you can afford.

    3. Ask about the usage requirements of your selected acne treatment before you start it and decide whether or not you will follow the directions.

    4. Chose an acne treatment based on your confidence level that it will work for you.

    5. Be patient.