How you can influence the future direction
of acne treatment research

Why is research important?

Without research, there would be no advances in medical care.   Research is vital if we want safer and more effective treatments and a better quality of life. 

Nearly all research, even medical research, starts out in a laboratory.  Eventually, any potential new or improved treatment has to be tested in people.   Research in people is essential to determine if a new treatment works better than existing ones, and whether it produces any unwanted effects. 

Clinical trials in which people are randomly allocated to the test or control treatment are the gold standard method for comparing new treatments with existing ones.   Doctors and other healthcare professionals as well as patients need evidence from clinical trials to know which treatments work best.  Without this evidence, there is a risk that people could be given treatments that have no advantage, that waste NHS resources, and that might even be harmful.

In summary, clinical trials help determine:

  1. to what extent treatments relieve symptoms or how often they produce a complete cure
  2. whether treatments have any unwanted effects and, if so, how often these occur and how severe they are 
  3. whether new treatments offer any advantages over standard treatments

As well as clinical trials, many other types of study are used to find out how well treatments work and how safe they are.   These range from studies in which people are asked their opinions about treatments they might have used to doctors collecting information about side effects of a new treatment during routine consultations.   There are methods for pooling the findings from lots of small studies so that we can have much more certainty that the interpretation of the results is correct.  There is also a lot of research to find out what aspects of having a particular disease bother people the most so that changes in these aspects can be used to compare the relative benefits of different treatments.