Research Round-Up — Diet in Acne and Electronic vs. Paper Prescriptions

Today we have a quick research round-up. I’ll be writing about the role of diet in acne and the best method for receiving a prescription if you intend to fill it. I’ve written about the role of diet in acne in the past so today will be touching on those same topics again. Like I said before, several studies have found a link between milk consumption and acne. The other article is interesting for the technologically inclined. I love the intersection of technology and medicine. This article highlights yet another one of the many ways that technology is improving outcomes in medicine. Keep reading to get the full scoop.

dermatology research roundup featured-image

Acne Sufferers Should Avoid Milk

Like I’ve mentioned in the past, diet can influence acne. Will cutting out chocolate and dairy cure all acne patients? No. But it’s definitely a start to achieving clear skin. Another article published in Cutis reviewed the literature on the effect of diet on acne. (1) The author highlights the association between milk consumption and acne in teenagers.


Milk consumption leads to acne through increase insulin levels. Milk causes insulin and insulin-like growth factor levels to rise. These 2 chemicals then increase comedogenesis (the clogging of pores), which leads to acne.

insulin-igf1-androgens-sebum-production diet cause acne

There aren’t any large randomized clinical trials to prove this though. We need more evidence to support this before doctors start telling patients to cut out the dairy.

Patients Are More Likely To Fill Electronic Prescriptions

I love thinking about the intersection of technology and dermatology, and this is yet another example of technology making the doctor’s job easier.

In this study recently published in JAMA Dermatology, the authors reviewed the records of 2,496 patients. Dermatologists wrote a total of 4,318 prescriptions for these patients.

They found that if a prescription was sent electronically rather than the traditional paper method, it was significantly more likely to be filled.

For paper prescriptions, only 62.8% of people filled all the medications prescribed to them.

For electronic prescriptions, this number jumped to 80.2%.

Interestingly, in the first 4 days after receiving a prescription, people were more likely to fill their paper prescriptions. However, after 4 days the electronic prescriptions won out by a landslide.


Finally, the authors theorized that this was because paper prescriptions are a physical reminder to pick up your medications. But, once that paper gets lost or put out of sight, the electronic reminders from most pharmacies are more likely to get a person to fill their prescriptions.

Have you seen any interesting Dermatology research articles lately? Send me a message so I can feature it in the future!


  1. Shokeen D. Influence of Diet in Acne Vulgaris and Atopic Dermatitis. Cutis. 2016 September;98(3):E28 – E29
  2. Adamson AS, Suarez EA, Gorman AR. Association Between Method of Prescribing and Primary Nonadherence to Dermatologic Medication in an Urban Hospital Population. JAMA Dermatol. Published online October 26, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2016.3491

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