BACKGROUND:
Acne is an important health issue with a major psychological impact in addition to the physical problems it causes.

OBJECTIVES:
To investigate the superiority of mobile teledermatology in the care of patients with high‐need facial acne in comparison to outpatient services with particular attention to treatment efficacy, safety, and patient compliance. Further, patient satisfaction with remote care was evaluated.

METHODS:
Sixty‐nine consecutive patients (f: 25, m: 44, median age: 19 years, range: 13–37 years) were randomly allocated to either the teleconsultation (TCA) or the outpatient consultation (OCA) arm of the trial to receive isotretinoin treatment in weight and severity‐dependent dosages over 24 weeks. Acne grading was performed by one examiner using the Global Acne Severity Scale (GEA) and the total lesion counting (TLC).

RESULTS:
Due to noncompliance issues, 17 of 69 (24.6%) patients were excluded from the study, of who 10 had been assigned to the TCA (10/34; 29.4%) and 7 to the OCA (7/35; 20%). Both, in the TCA (GEA‐score: ∆ = 2.25; TLC: ∆ = 89.08) and in the OCA (GEA‐score: ∆ = 2.0; TLC: ∆ = 91.21) excellent and almost equivalent therapeutic outcomes were achieved. In the TCA, however, less patients experienced adverse reactions (P = 0.55). Even though additional live supervision would have been appreciated in some teledermatology cases, patients were satisfied with the mobile service and no consultation request was created.

CONCLUSION:
Mobile teledermatology is an efficient, safe and well‐accepted tool among patients with high‐need acne constituting at least a valuable adjunct to outpatient care services. Further larger studies would be useful to confirm our findings.

 

J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2015; 29(5):919-924, © 2014 European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.

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