Patients experiencing acne relapses are more likely to report lower quality of life (QoL) and loss of productivity at work or school, according to a study published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.

In this non-interventional, observational study in a real-life setting, 422 French private dermatologists proposed a self-administered digital questionnaire to patients with acne aged 15 years and older (N=1048). QoL was assessed using the Cardiff Acne Disability Index (CADI) and a nonspecific questionnaire (SF12). Productivity was assessed with questions about absences from work or school that were due to acne relapse. Based on Global Acne Severity scores assessed by a dermatologist, respondents were categorized as suffering from mild acne (n=448), moderate acne (n=434), or severe acne (n=166).

One question asked, “Do you have the impression that your acne reappears at regular intervals?” In response, 44% of patients (n=463) confirmed that this was the case. There were significant differences in mean CADI scores in respondents aged older than 20 years between acne relapse and nonrelapse patients (6.6±3.4 [6.1-7.2] vs 5.6±3.5 [5-6.2]; P <.01). SF12 and CADI scores were significantly altered among patients with acne leave marks and scars.

There was a significant rate difference between relapse and nonrelapse patients in reported absenteeism from work or school (6.6% vs 3.6%; P <.01). Longer absenteeism duration over the last 30 days was more associated with relapse vs nonrelapse patients, but this was not statistically significant. Multivariate analysis showed that acne relapse rate was a significant determinant of absenteeism and loss of productivity.

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A potential limitation of this study is the observational nature of the design and the small sample size.

Few studies have focused on the rate of acne relapse in conjunction with the effect on QoL and productivity loss in both teenager and adult acne patients. The key finding from this study was the determinant impact of acne relapse on both QoL and reported absenteeism from work and school. These findings underscore the importance of appropriately managing patients with acne, even those assessed to have mild or moderate acne.

This study was supported by La Roche-Posay Dermatological Laboratories.

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Reference

Dreno B, Bordet C, Seite S, Taieb C; ‘Registre Acné’ Dermatologists. Acne relapses: impact on quality of life and productivity [published online January 11, 2019]. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. doi: 10.1111/jdv.15419