While a mild case of acne isn’t necessarily a serious problem, it’s still a good idea to see a dermatologist. They can give you helpful information about what could be causing your acne as well as the best treatments.
Plus, there is another skin condition called keratosis pilaris that is sometimes mistaken for acne and a dermatologist can tell you if that is what you’re dealing with, saving you the time and hassles of using the wrong treatment.
It’s a good idea to prepare for your visit with the dermatologist by making notes about your acne – as much as possible. They will ask you about your background – things like how long you’ve had acne, how you’ve treated it and what form it has taken (lesions, whiteheads, blackheads, etc.) They might also ask if there is a history of acne problems in your family.
Be sure to tell the doctor if you are allergic to any medications. Females might be asked about their menstrual cycle and males might need to tell the doctor how often they shave.
You might be given a choice of treatments so it helps to know a little about the options before you make your choice.
Antibiotics are one treatment – they’re used to kill the bacteria that leads to acne. They can be taken orally or as a lotion or ointment that gets applied directly to the skin. In severe cases, it may be necessary to use both forms.
Topical treatments include things like benzoyl peroxide and retinoic acid. They usually come in the form of a gel and can sometimes cause redness and dry skin.
In more severe cases of acne, the dermatologist may recommend a physical treatment. This could include removal of whiteheads and blackheads and possibly drainage of cysts.
Whatever type of treatment you end up choosing, it’s critical that you follow the doctor’s directions. Take the recommended dosage – no more or no less. And even if your acne clears up, you need to continue to take the medication for as long as the doctor tells you to or the acne may reappear.
Some of the questions you should keep in mind to ask the doctor include:
– What kind of treatment would work best for my acne?
– How long will it take before I see results?
– What is the best way to care for my skin?
– What can I do to prevent scarring?
– Is it okay for me to use makeup?
– Does this treatment have any side effects?
– How long will I need to take this medication?
As acne treatments can go on for some time, make sure you ask any questions you have each time to see your doctor. Being as informed as possible will make your treatment much easier to deal with.