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Internet Helps Treatment Teens’ Acne

Internet Helps Treatment Teens’ Acne

Online medical help has already gained popularity among savvy internet-users. It is fast and easy and in some cases it might be as professional as a visit to a good doctor.

The researchers from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center found a new way of making internet helpful for their patients. They assumed that regular internet-based communication could stimulate teenagers to use their medication properly. And they turned out to be right.

One of the authors of the study, published in Archives of Dermatology, Steve Feldman explained that there are many effective topical agents for dermatological acne treatment, but the problem is that few teenage patients use their medication as prescribed. However, it was noticed that before and after office visits patients tend to pay more attention to following the doctor’s advice which dramatically improves the efficiency of the treatment.

So, the investigators made a 12-week long experiment with the help of 20 teenage volunteers, aged 13 to 18, suffering from this common skin disease. All the participants were prescribed benzoyl peroxide, a first-line treatment for mild and moderate acne. They had to apply the gel topically every day for 12 weeks. In order to check how internet communication can help them treat their patients, the researchers sent a weekly email with a link to an online survey consisting of 6 questions about their usage of the prescribed drug.

Those participants who completed the survey regularly during the first 6 weeks of the study received a small gift. Besides, every completed survey gave them an extra opportunity to win the main prize after the end of the experiment.

It turned out that the patients who received the email used their medications almost 3 times more frequently than those from the control group: 89% to 33%. The doctors also evaluated the teenagers’ acne severity at the beginning of the experiment and in 6 and 12 weeks.

The investigators say that the adolescents’ response to the online survey was very promising and it opened wide possibilities to the new research in the field.

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