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Angela Palmer

Text Messaging Treatment Reminders Doesn’t Seem to Be Helpful

By May 11, 2012

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Remembering to use your acne treatments can be challenging sometimes (especially when you're rushing off to work or school, or dead tired and ready for bed.) But because consistency is so important in getting acne under control, dermatologists and other skin pros are always looking for ways to help their patients remember to use their treatments more regularly.

Some dermatology offices send their patients text messages daily to help remind them. Other skin care professionals (me included) have suggested setting your phone to alert you at regular times each day. But, do these tricks really work? Doesn't seem so, at least according to one small study found in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Researchers took 40 people with mild to moderate acne, each one prescribed clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide gel in the morning and adapalene gel at night. They outfitted each medication with a lid that recorded the time and date each time the lid was opened (who knew they could do that?)

Half of the group got automated text messages, twice daily, reminding them to use their acne treatments. The others didn't get any reminders.

At the end of the study period (12 weeks) the group that received the text reminders didn't use their medications any more consistently than the other group. Granted, this was a very small study with just a handful of people, but it seems that text message reminders aren't as helpful as we would hope.

I kind of understand, though. If I were to get a text message reminding me to use my treatment, unless I just happened to be standing near my treatment at the moment, it would be too easy to put off. I doubt I'd drop everything I was doing to go use my acne treatment.

Personally, I found it was easier to set the treatment right on the counter where it was easy to see. Then I made it a habit to use it every day right after washing my face. But I didn't typically forget my acne treatments; I was more likely to use them way too often (as in, enough to burn my face and turn into a peely, flaky mess.)

I'm curious though, do you think text message reminders would work for you? Take the poll.

Then, tell me what tricks you use to remember your acne treatments. You can read what other people with acne do to keep their treatment routine consistent too.

Treatment Tips and Tricks:

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