For many of us with PCOS, outbreaks of acne can be common, embarrassing and hugely frustrating. When everyone else’s skin seems to be leaving their awkward teenage years behind ours just seems to be getting worse and everything we do doesn’t seem to make it any better. What we really want to know is the elusive magic formula to making it better, and Acne PSP want to help us find out.
On Tuesday 4th March Verity were invited to attend the final Workshop that marked 16 months of hard work for the James Lind Alliance (JLA) Acne Priority Setting Partnership. Attended by 24 patients and health care professionals the group narrowed down a huge list of questions that are considered grey areas for those suffering with acne to a TOP TEN list for acne treatment research to address.
This workshop was stage 3 of a priority setting process established in 2004 by JLA in 2004 to bring patients and health care professionals closer together. Stage one saw over 4,00 people worldwide submitting questions about acne treatments that they would like to see answered by new research. These questions were then collated into themes with the most common questions narrowed down to a shortlist of 30. Stage 2 invited everyone to rank the three questions they considered the most important when it comes to research. 3,00 people voted and 18 made it to the priority setting workshop.
At the workshop delegates, both sufferers, patient organisations and health care professionals, decided the following are the current most important questions for acne researchers:
- What management strategy should be adopted for the treatment of acne in order to optimise short and long-term outcomes?
- What is the correct way to use antibiotics in acne to achieve the best outcomes with least risk?
- What is the best treatment for acne scars?
- What is the best way of preventing acne?
- What is the correct way to use oral isotretinoin (Roaccutane) in acne in order to achieve the best outcomes with the least risk of potentially serious adverse effects?
- Which lifestyle factors affect acne susceptibility or acne severity the most and could diet be one of them?
- What is the best way of managing acne in mature women who may/may not have underlying hormonal abnormalities?
- What is the best topical product for treating acne?
- Which physical therapies including lasers and other light based treatments are safe and effective in treating acne?
- How long do acne treatments take to work and which ones are fastest acting?
Dr. Alison Layton, consultant dermatologist and clinical lead of the Acne PSP said ‘It’s amazing how much we still don’t know about widely used treatments. Our number one priority might seem very broad but it reflects the fact that acne is a chronic condition that requires a radically new approach to long-term management if we are to meet people’s expectations of high quality care.’
Lester Firkins of the JLA, chairman of the Acne PSP Steering Group, ended the workshop by reminding everyone that the TOP TEN isn’t an end but a beginning. ‘The final workshop was a massive credit to all who took part. The larger than normal group was able tp debate, argue and adapt without any form of bad feeling where compromises on people’s “favourites” had to be made. It’s now up to the research community to ruse to the challenge and provide the answers patients and professionals want to increase the benefits and lower the risks of acne treatments. In addition, every single treatment uncertainty suggested, whether in the TOP TEN or not, will be recorded within the publicly available database, UK DUETS, for future reference. Nothing will have been lost.’
For those of you that took part and/or suffer from acne do you feel this list accurately reflects your concerns about acne and it’s treatment options? Let us know in the comments below.