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July 1996

Is It Reasonable for a Dermatologist to Treat Acne?

Author Affiliations

Departments of Dermatology and Internal Medicine Jefferson Medical College Suite 500 211 S 9th St Philadelphia, PA 19107

Arch Dermatol. 1996;132(7):819-820. doi:10.1001/archderm.1996.03890310105017

IN THIS issue of the Archives Stern1 reviews the results of the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey regarding the treatment of acne in the last decade. There are several findings that are impressive, if not surprising. Particularly note-worthy is the fact that acne accounts for a tremendous number of office visits to both generalists and dermatologists, somewhere around 6.6 million in 1989 through 1991. Although the number is now substantially lower than it was at the beginning of the decade, there are still billions of dollars spent on acne treatment. Many patients with acne are also now being treated by nondermatologists, a proportion that is certain to increase, and clear differences in the style of therapy between the 2 groups of practitioners are revealed. For example, nondermatologists use far less topical therapy than specialists, and dermatologists prescribe multiple acne medications more commonly than other physicians. Indeed, more than half

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