Joint pain

September 2010

Clinical

Acne

Best practice management

Volume 39, No.9, September 2010 Pages 656-660

David Cook

George Krassas

Tom Huang

Background

Acne vulgaris can have a substantial impact on a patient’s quality of life; there can be significant psychosocial consequences and it can leave permanent physical scarring. Early and effective acne treatment is important.

Objective/s

To describe the outcome of an accredited clinical audit investigating general practitioner management of acne vulgaris and to provide an outline of current ‘best practice’ acne management.

Discussion

The audit was conducted over two cycles with GPs receiving educational material between cycles. Eighty-five GPs contributed data on 1638 patients. General practitioner management of acne was assessed against a set of preset standards and some acne treatment was found to be inconsistent with best practice, particularly for patients with moderate and moderate to severe acne, where many patients were either being undertreated or treatment with antibiotic therapy was suboptimal. It is likely that this treatment gap is overestimated due to practical limitations of the audit process; however, the audit revealed a need to address the main sources of apparent divergence from best practice to improve the quality use of acne therapies.

Acne vulgaris is a very common skin disease experienced by nearly all adolescents and can have a substantial impact on quality of life.1,2 Even though acne may seem trivial, the psychosocial consequences can be profound3 and severe disease can leave permanent physical scarring.4,5 Early and effective acne treatment can prevent or minimise such complications.6

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Correspondence afp@racgp.org.au

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