Teleacne is a new teledermatology project, aimed to provide adequate and timely care for the young who are suffering from acne, by using mobile camera phones and the Internet. Via a mobile web application, acne patients can directly interact with expert dermatologists at any time and place to receive medical advice and treatment recommendations.

Acne is a common disorder experienced by almost 85% of adolescents and young adults. Acne is frequently localized on the face, affecting the appearance, which is an important part of overall body image. Moreover, it often begins in puberty, which is an important time for the development of body image, self-confidence and social abilities. Being so readily visible, acne may also reduce employment prospects. Acne scarring, which may affect up to 95% of patients with acne, can further cause devastating long-term psychic trauma for the sufferer. Besides its aesthetical and psychological effects, acne may also lead to physical harm. Even severe forms, such as cystic acne, can cause pain, recurrent bleeding and purulent discharge.

As current treatments for acne are very effective, the abovementioned effects of acne could be avoided in many cases by adequate medical intervention early in the course of the disease. However, persons affected often prefer insufficient treatments from drugstore shelves shyly avoiding medical care by general practitioners or dermatologists.

The purpose of the Teleacne project is to establish a new flexible mode of acne care that meets the requirements of the young, who are suffering from acne. By observing anonymity, by shortening of waiting times for medical advice and interventions, and further by enhancing patient medical adherence and compliance, Teleacne aims to provide an optimal care model that helps to prevent psychological and physiological harm, which may otherwise result from the disease.

This project has been funded by the anniversary fund of the Austrian National Bank (Jubiläumsfonds der Österreichischen Nationalbank).