Variability of over-the-counter spending on acne treatment across race and demographic characteristics


      Acne is a common skin condition that is associated with long-term dermatologic and psychologic morbidities if left untreated. In this study, a survey was distributed via Amazon Mechanical Turk to evaluate for out-of-pocket costs associated with over-the-counter (OTC) acne treatment. A total of 515 respondents with acne were included, of whom 84% used OTC products, spending on average $121.99 ± $115.69 in the past year. Additionally, on average, Black respondents spent more on OTC products than those of other races, and there was a positive correlation between income and expenditure on OTC products. Consistent with the literature, we found that many patients self-treat with multiple OTC products and out-of-pocket costs are significant.


      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to Clinics in Dermatology
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Fox L
        • Csongradi C
        • Aucamp M
        • Du Plessis J
        • Gerber M
        Treatment modalities for acne.
        Molecules. 2016; 21: 1063
        • Decker A
        • Graber EM.
        Over-the-counter acne treatments: a review.
        J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2012; 5: 32-40
        • Li SJ
        • Mostaghimi A
        • Tkachenko E
        • Huang KP.
        Association of out-of-pocket health care costs and financial burden for patients with alopecia areata.
        JAMA Dermatol. 2019; 155: 493-494
        • Vaidya T
        • Zubritsky L
        • Alikhan A
        • Housholder A.
        Socioeconomic and geographic barriers to dermatology care in urban and rural US populations.
        J Am Acad Dermatol. 2018; 78: 406-408
        • Barbieri JS
        • Shin DB
        • Wang S
        • Margolis DJ
        • Takeshita J.
        Association of race/ethnicity and sex with differences in health care use and treatment for acne.
        JAMA Dermatol. 2020; 156: 312-319