JDD Corner: Dr. Lawrence Eichenfield Shares His Pearls on Acne and the Adolescent Patient

Read highlights below from Dr. Adam Friedman’s latest JDD Ask the Investigator podcast: Acne, OCPs and a Side of Practical Pearls for the Adolescent Patient with Dr. Lawrence F. Eichenfield. Then click here to listen to the podcast.

International expert in pediatric dermatology, Dr. Lawrence F. Eichenfield, Chief of Pediatric and Adolescent Dermatology at Rady Children’s Hospital–San Diego and Professor of Dermatology and Pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine shares with us his broad spectrum understanding of pediatric illnesses, especially those affecting the skin. Read, then listen to absorb Dr. Eichenfield’s unique insight on working with adolescent patients.

The Motivation Behind the Study

In the spirit of “things aren’t always what they seem”, this research did not emerge from the carrying out of a pre-planned study to collect broad sets of data on women using contraceptives to see how they thought it affected their acne. Instead it was born when Dr. Eichenfield recognized the potential abundance of existing data within David Lortscher, MD’s teledermatology service called Curology. Together they started to think what they could look at within this data set that might be worth examining. With oral contraceptives, dermatologists are limited in what they have experience with to those that are prescribed for acne. Yet there is a whole set of contraceptives being used for contraceptive purposes that dermatologists don’t prescribe–and those may have an impact on acne as well. And voilà…a study was born.

The Use of Teledermatology in Studies

Dr. Eichenfield shares his thoughts on utilizing teledermatology to get a good number of patients and implement a meaningful study. Among them are the benefits of teledermatology: if one sees 2,000 patients in their practice vs. 2,000 teledermatology visits, there’s a lot more discreet collected data that’s potentially extractable in an online framework then what is available in a clinic.

The Key Findings

Dr. Eichenfield details the results of the study on acne and OCPs. Hear what he discovered on how hormonal contraceptives can impact acne, including:

  • the effects of progestin used with or without an estrogen component
  • the importance of awareness around what’s in a combined oral contraceptive
  • if the type of progestin matters
  • how specific progestin products performed
  • which oral contraceptive was superior and why– triphasic vs. monophasic
  • how dosing of estrogen plays a role
  • the effect of traditional progestin on acne vs. a synthetic progestin

What Else?
Yes, there’s more! Other topics discussed in the podcast:

  • Educational Obligation of Dermatologists: The importance of education among our medical professional peers
  • Managing the Adolescent Acne Patient
    • Why are we seeing younger patients with acne?
    • Treatment plan differences for early acne vs. teenagers
    • Tactics for success in engaging teens who “don’t care”
    • The use of oral contraceptives for teenage acne
    • Antibiotics in an era of antimicrobial resistance
    • The intricacies of discussing isotretinoin with patients
    • Advice on how to handle the topic of diet and acne with patients

Listen here! Acne, OCPs and a Side of Practical Pearls for the Adolescent Patient with Dr. Lawrence F. Eichenfield.