West Houston Dermatology

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Acne Treatment and Patient Compliance

Medical studies show that 20%-50% of patients across all medical specialties don’t take medications as directed, but these percentages are probably higher in dermatology patients.   Since dermatology treatment can require applying topical agents, this is thought to be a factor in non-compliance by patients.  When the treatment is for acne, the majority of Dr. Stephen Mahoney’s patients are teens, which also creates unique challenges with taking medication and using topical agents consistently.   Having acne does not inspire patience, and any patient with acne, whether teenager or adult, wants the same thing:  to make the breakouts go away ASAP.  However, to meet that goal, the patient must not only take his/her medication and apply topical agents consistently, but also communicate with Dr. Mahoney about what works for them and what does not.  For instance, if the patient finds it difficult to comply with applying a topical agent as directed, then Dr. Mahoney needs to know that, or if the topical agent makes the skin too dry, Dr. Mahoney needs to know that as well so adjustments can be made to the treatment plan.  Though most acne treatments do not begin to fully clear the skin for at least 6-8 weeks, it’s not unusual for Dr. Mahoney or his staff to see an acne patient within about 4 weeks so they can evaluate how the patients is doing with his/her treatment and to help the patient avoid frustration that goes along with acne.  Being a teen is hard, and having acne makes it worse, but you can rely on West Houston Dermatology to help you control your acne and to look your best.