Teen acne treatment preferences

Kathleen Blanchard's picture

Results of a study published in the August issue of Archives of Dermatology shows that teenagers with acne are willing to pay high dollars to get rid of acne, but no money if it means they will have scars. Teenagers reported a willingness to pay an average 275 dollars to have never had acne. They would pay 100 dollars to be 100-percent cleared of acne, 10 dollars for 50-percent reduction and zero if they could clear acne but be left with scarring.

Background information from the article suggests that teenagers with acne suffer from anxiety and depression. The embarrassment can cause social dysfunction.

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, studied 266 teen volunteers with acne from four public high schools in San Francisco. Study participants answered questions about the severity of acne, and their willingness to pay for treatment. Their parents were also surveyed. Those with the most severe cases reported they would spend more time and money for treatment.


Parents said they would pay an average of 250 dollars for their child to never have had acne, 100 dollars for complete clearance, 100 dollars for 50-percent reduction, and no money for 100-percent clearance with scarring.

The researchers find the study has important implications for helping dermatologists balance the results of clinical trials with patient expectations of acne treatments.

The authors say, "Randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled trials have shown that three to four months of conventional acne therapy, including topical benzoyl peroxide, topical retinoids and oral antibiotics, typically produces reductions in lesion counts in the 40 percent to 60 percent range."

Acne results in scarring in ninety five percent of cases. When treating acne, clinicians must weigh clinical data against “adolescents' marked preference for total clearance over partial (50 percent) clearance or clearance with scarring” affects . Teens have a much stronger preference for acne treatments that leave no scars.

Arch Dermatol. 2008;144[8]:988-994



It would be best. A dermatologist can offer a wide array of treatment options, and many have aestheticians that can provide skin treatments. Thanks for visiting and asking!