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  • Writer's pictureDr. Leslie Baumann

How to Improve Patient Compliance by Combining Cosmeceutical and Prescription Treatments

Updated: Mar 25, 2020

As a dermatologist, you know just how important patient compliance is to successful patient outcomes, patient satisfaction and the continued success of your practice. However, studies have illustrated a trend of poor patient compliance when treating a variety of dermatologic disorders, including acne and psoriasis. There are, however, a number of ways that you can encourage compliance from your patients and help them to achieve very noticeable and even dramatic results.

See Your Patients More Frequently

Research published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that patients tend to stray away from properly using both cosmetic and prescription treatments as the time since their last dermatologist visit increases. In fact, your patients may only be compliant in the few days after their last appointment and directly before their next. For this reason, it is recommended that dermatologists see their patients every four weeks, at least while implementing a new treatment regimen.

Assess Your Patient’s Skin Phenotype And Design Regimen Accordingly

You can save time, thus increasing the number of patients that you can see in a day, while simultaneously improving compliance by assessing the phenotypes of your patients and incorporating this information into the prescribing process. This allows you to personalize and customize the cosmeceuticals and prescription medications for each patient. To do this, you can use a questionnaire to determine the skin type, such as the Baumann Skin Type Indicator used exclusively by doctors who have been chosen to be a part of the Skin Type Solutions Franchise System. The Baumann Skin Type Indicator Questionnaire identifies skin phenotypes based on four qualities:

  1. Hydration

  2. Inflammation

  3. Pigmentation

  4. Lifestyle habits leading to increased risk of skin aging and skin cancer

One you’ve identified a patient’s skin type, you can provide a printed skincare regimen with clear steps and the specific products that should be used.

Combine Prescription Medications with Corresponding Cosmeceuticals

Combining prescription medications with the right skincare products can help to minimize side effects and speed the results.  Even when prescribing a product as seemingly straightforward as a cleanser, it’s important to provide instructions for use to increase compliance and improve outcomes.  I once had a rosacea patient that kept getting worse and I could not understand why.  It turns out that they thought their facial cleanser was a leave on cleanser!  Now I always provide printed instructions for my patients.

Provide a Printout of Detailed Treatment Instructions

It’s a good idea to have printouts on hand for each specific skin type or skin issue. That way, your patients are only reading information that pertains to them, which limits confusion and helps to increase compliance. The Skin Type Solutions Software System generates a skincare regimen also houses and exports patient instructions based on their Baumann Skin Type and skin issues. You should provide your patients with detailed instructions about how and in what order to use each prescription treatment that you’re recommending to reduce adverse side effects that may cause them to discontinue treatment. I use a step 1, step 2, step 3… approach as shown in this figure.  ***

The Skin Type Solutions Software System

***This is an example rosacea skin care regimen for a doctor that sells PCA Skincare and SkinMedica products. (In the Skin Type Solution System the doctor can choose from over 40 brands and all price points). This patient wanted Latisse for the eyelashes as well.  With a click of a button, the doctor easily added Latisse to the regimen.

Sell Skincare Products in Your Practice

Selling skincare products either in your office or online can have a huge impact on patient compliance because it ensures that the right products are purchased by your patients.  Otherwise, patients run the risk of purchasing the wrong product or using the right products incorrectly. Selling products in your practice protects your patients from making purchasing mistakes or falling prey to overzealous salespeople.

Sell Prescription Medications in Your Practice

This requires state licensure and is not allowed in every state.  Contact your state medical boards for guidelines.  There are many new options of how to do this in your practice which will be the subject of future blogs.

In Summary

Educating and communicating with your patients will help them to be more compliant and therefore improve outcomes. To aid in this process, develop a standardized methodology to which you and your staff can adhere, to help provide clear and concise information to patients at all times.  Skin Type Solutions Franchise Systems is a software system that streamlines this process for you.  If you have any questions about how to add this software to streamline your practice, please feel free to contact us online at and share your ideas.

Developed by world-renowned dermatologist, Leslie Baumann, MD, the Skin Type Solutions® Franchise System is an educational, science-based skincare store that implements a simple and reliable system to maximize skincare product sales and improve patient compliance and results.

Based on Dr. Baumann’s patent-pending Baumann Skin Typing System, this first-of-its-kind retail model provides dermatologists with the scientific methodology, training, and education necessary to prescribe effective, customized skincare regimens utilizing multiple brands of products that have been independently tested and approved by Dr. Baumann. To learn more about what Skin Type Solutions can do for your dermatology practice, visit the STS site here.


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