Racial Differences in Treatment Preferences of Acne Vulgaris: A Cross-Sectional Study

Monica Mehta, Roopal V. Kundu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cultural and social constructs may influence a patient’s understanding of their acne vulgaris affecting treatment preferences and valuation. Understanding these differences can better equip healthcare professionals when providing treatment recommendations. The objective of this study was to determine how perception, treatment preferences, and treatment valuation of acne vulgaris vary across different races. This was a cross-sectional study run from June 2017–February 2018. Participants with self-identified acne completed a one-time 31 question online survey distributed through ResearchMatch (national research registry) and campus recruitment. 217 English-speaking participants with self-identified acne who were over 18 years-old attempted the survey, and 3 participants were excluded for failing to complete it. Response rate of this study was 10.5%. Compared to Whites (88%, n=126), East Asians (44%, n=12) (P<0.001) and South Asians (53%, n=16) (P=0.002) were less likely to see a healthcare professional for acne. Compared to Whites (87%, n=125), East Asians (63%, n=17) were less likely to get information from healthcare professionals (P=0.03). East Asians (93%, n=25) used the internet more frequently as a source of information about causes of acne and treatments compared to all other races (P=0.04). Race was not statistically significant as a predictor for willingness to pay (WTP). Whites (27%, n=39) preferred using prescription face washes/creams/gels, while East Asians (41%, n=11), South Asians (60%, n=18), and Blacks (37%, n=7) preferred OTC washes/creams/gels. Differences exist in perception and treatment preferences for acne between races and exploring them may enhance providers’ understanding of their patients’ preferences. Healthcare organizations and professionals may need to utilize the internet and social media to access non-White populations. J Drugs Dermatol. 2020;19(12): doi:10.36849/JDD.2020.5488.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)802
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of drugs in dermatology : JDD
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology

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