Concerns, Expectations, and Management Gaps Relating to Acne and Associated Scarring Identified from Survey Data

June 2021 | Volume 20 | Issue 6 | Original Article | 600 | Copyright © June 2021


Published online May 28, 2021

Jerry Tan MDa, Anna L. Chien MDb, Jean Philippe York PhDc, Alison M. Layton MDd

aWindsor Clinical Research Inc., ON, Canada; Department of Medicine, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada
bDepartment of Dermatology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
cGalderma Laboratories, L.P., Fort Worth, TX
dDepartment of Dermatology, Harrogate & District NHS Foundation Trust, Harrogate, United Kingdom

Abstract
Introduction: Our objective was to identify concerns, burden of disease, education gaps, and expectations of acne/acne scarring respondents and investigate acne/acne scarring related burden. Also, to consider perception of acne/acne scarring and additional education needs through responses from the general population.
Methods: One online survey from 1000 respondents aged 14–26 years old who currently had moderate to severe acne and/or acne scarring (AcnePop) and one from 2000 nationally representative USA respondents aged ≥14 years old [general population (GenPop)].
Results: Among the AcnePop, 26% had never consulted a healthcare professional and 36% never received a prescription for acne/acne scarring. Of those who had seen a medical professional, 72% consulted a dermatologist, 45% a primary care physician, and 23% a therapist/psychiatrist. The vast majority (94%) were dissatisfied with information they received from the healthcare provider. Topics they desired more information on included available treatment options (46%), how different skin types are affected by acne (44%), acne triggers (44%), and their acne severity (43%). Of GenPop (n=781) who had given unsolicited advice to people with acne, the most common suggestions were to see a doctor (47%), change their hygiene habits (39%), or change their diet (37%).
Conclusion: AcnePop are often dissatisfied with the information they receive from healthcare providers and more comprehensive information should be provided to help them understand their condition and available treatment options.

J Drugs Dermatol. 2021;20(6):600-606. doi:10.36849/JDD.5920

INTRODUCTION

Acne is a highly prevalent chronic disease, but its causes and effective treatments are often poorly understood by the public, even those who have acne themselves. Information can dispel misconceptions and help acne patients understand their condition, while encouraging them to seek treatment and advice from health care professionals.1-6 Failure to implement effective treatment can have long-term implications such as acne scarring, dyspigmentation, and lasting psychosocial impact.

Facial acne and acne scars are perceived negatively.7,8 Furthermore, as acne and/or acne scarring is readily visible on the face, even mild forms may have a significant psychological and emotional impact on the individual.9-11 Discrepancies between patients and clinicians regarding the impact of acne in psychological, sociological, and treatment-related domains underscores the importance of patient-reported outcomes to improve patient satisfaction on treatment effectiveness, quality of life and appearance.12,13 Additional patient-centric data may thus help improve outcomes in acne patients.

Our objective was to identify concerns, burden of disease, education gaps and expectations of acne/acne scarring respondents and investigate acne/acne scarring related burden, as well as consider general attitudes of acne/acne scarring and additional education needs through responses from the general population.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Surveys
Two online surveys were conducted by Wakefield Research between July 1 and July 12, 2019 by email invitation in the United States. Participants consented to be contacted for research. As they were not at risk and had no physical contact with the researchers, no Personally Identifiable Information was collected, and no study-specific consent was required.

Survey Populations
One survey recruited 1000 acne/acne scar respondents aged 14–26-years-old (AcnePop). Inclusion was determined via survey responses. Inclusion criteria were current acne of