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UK General Practitioners Prescribing Medication for Skin Issues


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  • Root Admin

In England, an article published in the British Journal of General Practioners, concludes that "Skin problems are the most common reason for a new presentation in primary care, and most patients with skin problems are managed exclusively in primary care" by general practitioners (GPs). Furthermore, "skin problems were usually presented alongside other complaints and resulted in a medication recommendation." This means that more patients in the UK apparently are being treated by GPs rather than dermatologists and the authors of the paper are concerned that "Shared decision making was uncommon and self-management advice not consistently given, with re-attendance for the same problem common. GPs’ training should reflect how frequently skin problems are seen and seek to improve patient involvement in decision making and support self-management."  

Another concern expressed by the authors regarding long term treatment of skin conditions is that  "Long-term skin problems can place a heavy burden on patients, including impaired health-related quality of life, reduced occupational productivity, and a high socioeconomic and psychological impact." The patients "treatment failure in long-term conditions is common as a result of low adherence with treatments."

"Most skin problems were not referred to dermatology specialist care, with GPs offering planned or contingent followup arrangements in two-thirds of cases, which was documented for only half of the problems. Although most skin problems were not referred, re-attendance within 3 months of the index consultation was common."

The paper never mentions rosacea in the list of skin conditions treated. 

Br J Gen Pract. 2020 Sep 8 : bjgp20X712577. doi: 10.3399/bjgp20X712577 
The content and conduct of GP consultations for dermatology problems: a cross-sectional study
Emma Le Roux et al  

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