The Difficult Case Of Patient (Non-)Compliance

How do you make your patients follow their pre- and post-treatment care? We asked two practitioners.

Ensuring patient compliance with pre and post-treatment skincare regimens is a critical element in achieving the best outcomes in cosmetic procedures such as laser treatments, RF microneedling, and chemical peels.

We caught up with two practitioners, Dr. Sarah Tranter of Dr. Tranter Aesthetics and Rima Tenian, Director of Illuminate Skin and Body to discuss their key pieces of advice on navigating patient compliance. Both practitioners underscore the importance of communication, education, and a unified staff philosophy in ensuring patients adhere to their recommended skincare protocols for optimal results.

Dr Sarah Tranter, Dr Tranter Aesthetics

Ensuring that patients comply with pre and post-treatment skincare and skin preparation is a crucial aspect of achieving optimal results in cosmetic procedures like laser treatments, RF microneedling, peels, and other advanced skincare treatments.

As a dedicated cosmetic physician, my approach revolves around education and fostering a shared philosophy among both my patients and my staff.

Education is the cornerstone of success. I take the time to thoroughly educate my patients on the ‘why’ behind pre and post-treatment skincare, and emphasise the customised nature of their treatment protocol.

I explain how these steps can enhance treatment effectiveness, minimise potential complications, and accelerate recovery. I find that being direct and clear about what is involved, the benefits, risks, and consequences of non-compliance, helps patients see the direct connection between their pre and post-treatment skincare and outcomes, and patients are more likely to commit to the prescribed regimen.

All our patients have a comprehensive pre-treatment consultation, where these factors are discussed, as well as consent pre-treatment. We also insist on patients attending their scheduled follow-up consultations, so we can see how things are progressing post-treatment.

In cases where patients haven’t complied with pre and post-treatment protocols, I try and understand why this is the case – was it too complicated, did they completely understand what was required, did they have a reaction to the skincare? This allows me to review the process with them and helps me refine my processes for future patients embarking on similar treatments.

Creating a cohesive philosophy within my staff is equally vital. Through ongoing training and communication, I ensure that all team members share the same commitment to pre and post-treatment care. We hold regular meetings to review treatment protocols, discuss case studies, and address any questions or concerns.

This consistency ensures that patients receive consistent guidance and support throughout their journey, this is paramount for us, as helping our patients achieve the best results possible is our priority.

Rima Tenian, Director Illuminate Skin and Body

When visiting Illuminate Skin and Body for treatments such as skin needling, laser and peels, we have our clients fill out a consultation form that complies with the treatment they’re booked in to receive, at the same time they also sign a waiver which states that the success of a treatment is only guaranteed if they follow instructions as prescribed by their therapist.

We speak to our clients about how to prepare their skin prior to their treatment date and discuss aftercare so they can prepare themselves. I also stress to the client before the booking that if they are not compliant with their aftercare, we cannot guarantee optimal results and that adverse reactions can occur if they don’t adhere to their therapist’s prescriptions.

We also keep a thorough photo diary of all treatments including before, during and after photos as well as encouraging our client to share images with us of their at-home skin progression, which most clients do if it’s relevant to the treatment they received.

This way we can see how their skin has reacted to and is coping with the recovery of their treatment. We are very hands on, we call our clients on day two and day four to check in as well as communicate online to constantly check in so we can nip any adverse reactions in the bud.

If there is a reaction on the skin due to poor aftercare or lack of, we book the client in immediately and they come in to visit us within 24 hours of that call for a checkup so we can address any concerns.

We can tell when clients have not followed their prescribed skincare regime at home, this is why we keep the photographic evidence so we can track where things may have gone wrong in their post-care. 

Education is key, I am constantly educating my clients and also show them, with permission, images from other success stories and also images from other clients who have not followed our suggested prescriptions to validate the importance of aftercare. 

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