Assessment of Level of Knowledge of Management of Acne vulgaris among Community Pharmacists and Prescribers in Lusaka Urban


  • Lavina Prashar Lecturer Pharmacology School of Medicine University of Zambia
  • Fredrick Johnfray Pharmacist, Nkhoma Hospital, Lilongwe
  • Owen Ngalamika Head of Department, Dermatology, University Teaching Hospital


Key words, Acne, Knowledge, Prescribers, Pharmacist, Management


Acne is a common skin condition affecting almost 85% of the population. Everyone has the risk of developing acne at certain stages of life. The management of acne in early stages is important for disease prognosis. Patients with acne usually present at community pharmacies and clinics during the early stages of their disease. Assessment of knowledge and practice of community pharmacists and prescribers in treating these patients is required. The aim of this study was to assess the levels of knowledge in acne management among community pharmacists and prescribers in Lusaka urban. The study was designed as a cross-sectional survey and was conducted on 89 community pharmacists and prescribers working in Lusaka, Zambia. Participants were asked to answer a self administered questionnaire on the management of acne vulgaris that comprised questions evaluating the knowledge on disease causes, aggravating or relieving factors, treatment practices and use of reference materials.

The study revealed that Pharmacists and prescribers had inadequate levels of knowledge on disease management; 21% had low levels of knowledge where as only 6% had high levels of knowledge. By category, 36% of the prescribers had low levels and 10% had high levels of knowledge. 8% of the pharmacists had low levels of knowledge and only 2% had high levels. Lack of knowledge was reflected in their treatment practices, 62.9% never classified acne when initiating treatment and less than a quarter managed acne cases independently. This study showed no association of levels of knowledge to referral of patients with severe acne (p>0.05).

It was concluded from the study that pharmacists and prescribers have inadequate knowledge and practice for management of acne. Steps should be taken to update and improve their dermatological knowledge.


Author Biographies

Lavina Prashar, Lecturer Pharmacology School of Medicine University of Zambia

Lecturer in Pharmacology, Department of Physiological Sciences, School of Medicine. University of Zambia

Fredrick Johnfray, Pharmacist, Nkhoma Hospital, Lilongwe

Nkhoma Hospital, Lilongwe.

Owen Ngalamika, Head of Department, Dermatology, University Teaching Hospital

Head of the Department, Dermatology, University Teaching Hospital.


“World Health Organization (WHO), model of prescribing information: drugs used in skin disease Genevaâ€, 1997.

Arora MK, Yaday A, Saini V, “Role of hormones in Acne vulgaris. Clinical Biochemistryâ€.Vol. 44, no. 13, 1035-40, 2011.

Kaisar R, Vaibhay T. Arvind S, & Om P, “An understanding of Acne vulgaris disease and its impact on lifeâ€. International Journal on Dermatology, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 14-20, 2012.

Smith FJ, Salkind MR.,†Presentation of clinical symptoms to community pharmacists in Londonâ€. Journal of Social and Administrative Pharmacy, vol. 7, no. 4, pp. 221-24, 1990.

Tucker R, Duffy J,†The Role of Community Pharmacists in the Management of Skin Problemsâ€. J Pharma Care Health Sys 1:105. doi: 10.4172/jpchs.1000105, 2014.

Rutter P. Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment of skin problems: A Guideline for Pharmacist and Nurses. Edinburgh: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone, 2005.

Kamal A, Mahmoud A, and Eman R, Hofny MD, “Prevalence of skin disease in rural areas of Assiut Governorate Upper Egypt. International Journal of Dermatology, 887-92, 2003.

Hani A, Al Shobaili , “Knowledge and practice of Primary Health Care physicians for management of acne in Saudi Arabia†Journal of Egypt Public Health Association 2013.88: 26-31.

Smithard A, Glazebrook C, Williams HC. Acne prevalence, knowledge about acne and psychological morbidity in mid-adolescence: a community-based study among Saudi acne patients. Br J Dermatol 2001; 145(2):274-9.

Thiboutot D, Gilliland K, Light J, Lookingbill D. “Androgen metabolism in sebaceous glands from subjects with and without acne.†Archive of Dermatology 1999; 135:1041–45.

Alhazmi A, Aljarallah JS. Knowledge, attitude and practice of physicians working in primary health care centers towards acne vulgaris. Saudi Epidemiol Bull 2006; 13:19–20.

Xu SX, Wang HL, Fan X, Sun LD, Yang S, Wang PG, et al. “The familial risk of acne vulgaris in Chinese Hans – a case–control study.†J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol, vol. 21, no. 5, pp. 602–5, 2007.

Ghodsi SZ, Orawa H, Zouboulis CC. “Prevalence, severity, and severity risk factors of acne in high school pupils: a community-based study.†Journal of Investigative Dermatology, vol. 129, no. 9, pp. 2136–41.

Reynolds RC, Lee S, Choi JYJ, Atkinson FS, Stockman KS, Petocz P, Brand-Miller JC. “Effect of the glycemic index of carbohydrates on Acne vulgaris.†Nutrients; 2, no. 10, :1060–72, 2010.

.Manahan MN, Soyer HP, Nissen LM,†Teledermatology in Pharmacies: a pilot studyâ€. J Telemed Telecare vol. 17: pp. 392-96, 2011.

The British National Formulary 65, March –September 2013, pp 764




How to Cite

Prashar, L., Johnfray, F., & Ngalamika, O. (2015). Assessment of Level of Knowledge of Management of Acne vulgaris among Community Pharmacists and Prescribers in Lusaka Urban. Asian Journal of Pharmacy, Nursing and Medical Sciences, 3(5). Retrieved from