Acne is one of the most common issues among Americans today. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne affects over 50 million people each year. Some are choosing to try and cope with their acne issues on their own while others seek medical treatment from specialists that can prescribe prepackaged acne medication to help.
Patients who come to you with skin problems, especially on their face, are looking to you for help. They do not know why they have this problem and they certainly don’t know how to solve it.
Your patients just want a quick solution for what they may term, “bad acne,” And you want to give them that quick solution. If only it were that easy.
Just like every other physical ailment, there is not a one size fits all solution. What you can do, however, to ensure you provide the best service to your patient is to correctly diagnose the problem. Because there are other ailments that can disguise as acne, you want to take extra care in the diagnostic stage.
Your treatment recommendations and prepackaged acne medication need to accurately fit the needs of the problem. Your first step will be to grade the acne of your patient.
Grading the lesions that are apparent on your patient’s body will help you make a diagnosis. Also, grading the severity of the lesions will help you develop a treatment plan that will work. Because acne can be based on the inflammation, your treatment methods can vary.
The Federal Drug Administration provides an example of a n appropriate Acne Global Severity Scale to help physicians with their diagnoses. It is simple to use and grades are from zero to five, with zero being normal, unblemished skin. A grade of five on the scale indicates severely inflamed lesions found on the skin of the patient.
As you know, there are at least five types of acne that are common among patients. Each can have a different solution. The treatment or prepackaged acne medication you prescribe will be based on the inflammation levels present.
Whiteheads appear when pores are clogged shut with oil. Clogged pores are often referred to as comedones. Blackheads are also clogged, but open, comedones. Neither of these typically produce inflammation.
Papules and pustules do cause inflammation and can be more painful. It is more of a waiting game with these types. Wait and let the prepackaged acne medication do its job.
When acne is severe, with nodules or cysts, more care is needed to avoid permanent scarring or damage to the skin.
Specialized treatments are often needed and finding the right prepackaged acne medication to match the type of acne present is essential.
Prepackaged Acne Medication for Non-Inflammatory Acne
For the treatment of non-inflammatory acne such as whiteheads or blackheads, prepackaged acne medication such as topical creams and liquids work well. Medicines such as Retin-A, Tazorac and Differin could be prescribed at the point of care, making it easier for your patient to start treatments.
These prepackaged acne medication are considered retinoids and are usually the first option chosen to treat acne.
Prepackaged Acne Medication for Mild-Inflammatory Acne
Mild-inflammatory acne can also be treated with retinoids. However, if they do not work, other medications may need to be added. Benzoyl peroxide, applied in the morning and at night, often produces better results.
On occasion, topical antibiotics may be prescribed to help your patient prevent bacteria build-up and infection.
Prepackaged Acne Medication for Moderate to Severe Inflammatory Acne
Those who suffer from serious cases of acne, prepackaged acne medication in the form of oral antibiotics have been shown to work best. Doxycycline is one of the most common antibiotics prescribed for this problem.
Oral retinoids can also be taken to help alleviate the symptoms. They provide the right combination to prevent the growth of bacteria.
Women may benefit from birth control medicines due to the manipulation of hormones that may be part of the reason for the acne in the first place. Not all birth control medicines will work with hormone therapy, however, and the ones that do work can take up to six months to see a difference.
For the most severe cases, prescribing the most potent retinoid treatments may be necessary. Because of its strength and possible side effects, these drugs are regulated heavily. You must follow the strict rules established when using medicines such as oral isotretinoin.
Trends in Skin Medication Dispensing
Many physicians are moving towards point of care medication dispensing. They are finding this is much more cost effective for their patients. Mainly because the dosages and strengths can be modified for specific and individualized needs of the patient.
Patients no longer have to pay for excess medicine from a pharmacy that sits in the closet and never gets used.
In-office dispensing makes packaging medicines simple and worry-free for you, the doctor. There is an elevated level of quality control within the program. And you can get medicines that are made specifically for your practice, either in individual doses, large doses or in kits.
This gives you time to stay up-to-date with emerging treatments.
Beyond the Diagnosis
Your care doesn’t have to stop at the diagnosis or after writing a prescription for prepackaged acne medication. You can go one extra step, providing in-office dispensing of medications. Your patient is eager to get started resolving their acne issues.
Patients with acne often feel insecure about their appearance, especially if they are experiencing extreme inflammation. Providing them with acne medication at the point of care means they do not have to travel to a pharmacy where they sit and wait with a group of others.
In-office dispensing for prepackaged acne medication can save your patient hours. It is simple to use and allows you to customize orders. You simply log on to the system, enter the patient information, and print the label. You then place the label on the outside of the package and place the prepackaged acne medication inside.
Your patient can then go straight home and begin treatments.
You can also provide prevention education and products such as astringents to your patients to help them avoid future acne problems.
Referring acne medication to your patients does not have to be an arduous process. With programs such as the point of care service, diagnosing, educating and treating patients just became much easier.