Don't Pass Off Acne Extractions
A crucial part of total acne therapy involves extractions of comedones at least once a month, depending on acne severity. Many dermatology offices offer acne facials performed by a medical esthetician. This is a nice option because it frees the provider for other services and offers a medically-focused facial to the patient. But in many cases I prefer to perform these myself.
I attempt to provide mild extractions for all my acne patients followed by a chemical exfoliation and a liquid nitrogen slush. This is a wonderful, highly effective combination for all types of acne. Removing the comedones in office can help eliminate patient picking, which ultimately leads to scarring. Many patients cannot help their compulsive urge to dig comedones out at home. Controlling acne and future breakouts is much easier to treat than scarring caused from "at home" excoriations.
Patients also love the idea that you are an active participant in their acne treatments. Successful acne visits must include more than a quick glance and a prescription. Patients truly appreciate the time spent, and they immediately see and feel improvement. Subsequently, your patient is excited to schedule the next appointment and leaves motivated to continue the at-home regimen you prescribed.
Each follow-up visit becomes shorter because comedones have reduced if not diminished completely. So while you think there may not be enough time on your schedule for a quick peak and some extractions, think again. The good news is YOU CAN BILL FOR IT! Procedure code 10040, "Acne Surgery," is recognized and covered by most PPO insurance plans. Some HMO plans will grant you authorization as well. Surprising, I know.
Nothing is going to impress your patient more than spending a little extra time with them. Nothing makes me happier than having a happy patient with a happy face.