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Compliance key to skin disease care

If patients are not responding to dermatology treatment, compliance is likely to be the problem, according to a skin specialist.

In an editorial in the July Archives of Dermatology, Dr Steven Feldman of Wake Forest University school of medicine, North Carolina, US, said doctors needed to use practical ways of improving compliance, such as:

• establishing strong, trusting doctor-patient relationships

• choosing treatments that fit patient lifestyles

• using patient education materials that motivate without unduly stressing the risks of treatment

• scheduling a follow-up appointment soon after initiating a new treatment.

In scalp psoriasis, he said, patients were often reluctant to apply treatment 'It is much easier to be compliant for three or four days than for eight weeks. After that, patients will have a treatment that works, and will be more likely to use it as needed.'

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