In the consumer section of our website, there are top tips and FAQs for acne care which can be shared with customers. These provide acne sufferers with sensible guidance on skin care, a healthy diet and exercise and simple lifestyle changes that can be made to improve their skin. You will be well aware that engaging with your patients and customers improves the patient-professional relationship, safeguards the person’s health and encourages repeat pharmacy visits.
When to refer
Acne is a sensitive issue which can severely affect a person’s self-esteem, confidence and hamper their social interaction and quality of life. If time allows, gentle, sensitive questioning and reassurance can reveal other health problems contributing to their acne outbreak, which may necessitate a referral to a nurse or physician. This is a key way in which a pharmacist or member of the pharmacy team can support their fellow healthcare professionals and take a proactive approach to their patients and customers health.
In teenagers and young people acne is most commonly a sign of hormonal fluctuations associated with adolescence. Occasionally, however, and particularly in older patients, acne may signify other underlying conditions and a referral may be necessary.
Refer your patient or customer if:
- They have painful, inflamed nodular or cystic acne with a potential for scarring.
- They appear to have ‘acne’ rosacea and have facial flushing, erythema, spots, thickening of the skin, dry eyes and sore eyelids, telangiectasia (visible inflamed small blood vessels under the skins surface) and are highly sensitive to any UV light.
- They are experiencing fatigue, thirst, or increased urination.
- They complain about weight gain (especially around the middle), hirsutism and irregular periods.
- They have any unusual pain, weight loss or production of blood (from bowel, urine, mouth, phlegm or lesion).
- They complain about muscle and joint pains, carpal tunnel, hair loss, constipation, moodiness, depression or anxiety, fertility problems, swelling, enlargement or discomfort around the neck or jawline.
- You suspect any mental-health issues (look at the persons demeanour, nails, attire, sensitively ask about their mood, their sleep patterns or if they have experienced any emotional upheaval).
- They might be pregnant (trying for a baby, missed periods, fatigue, nausea, increased urination, tender breasts).
- They speak about an over-reliance on alcohol, recreational or prescription drugs or are suffering from emotional or occupational stress.