191471 - Treatment of severe acne
Severe acne can have a devastating impact on a person’s life. Sufferers can experience permanent scarring, depression and a range of psychosocial effects.
Effective treatments are available and GPs can play a vital role in ensuring that their patients have access to them.
This activity explores the key features of severe acne and describes the range of patients that GPs should consider for referral to a dermatologist.
The activity discusses the use of isotretinoin and how GPs can support their patients who have been prescribed this medication by their dermatologist.
To assist GPs in monitoring and supporting patients receiving this treatment the indications, contraindications, interactions and precautions along with the adverse effects are reviewed.
The activity also examines a range of physical therapies for patients unable to take isotretinoin along with strategies for treating acne scars.
It is estimated that more than 90% of Australians will develop acne at some point in their lives1 and some acne sufferers go on to develop severe cystic acne which can lead to a range of problems including scarring, depression and psychosocial issues.
While the mainstay of treatment for severe acne, isotretinoin, can only be prescribed by dermatologists, GPs can support patients receiving isotretinoin by monitoring them for side effects and drug interactions. They can also counsel female patients about the need to use contraception at least one month prior to, during and one month after treatment.
GPs may be called on to manage some of the common side effects of isotretinoin therapy including dry skin, dermatitis and myalgia and be required to refer patients back to their dermatologist if more serious side effects occur.
D1. Communication skills and the patient-doctor relationship
D2. Applied professional knowledge and skills
D3. Population health and the context of general practice
D4. Professional and ethical role
D5. Organisational and legal dimensionsCurriculum Contextual Units
- Children and young people health