Acne Treatments - Seeing a Dermatologist
Even though a case of mild acne is seldom a serious condition, except to the victim, of course, it is still a good idea to see a dermatologist if your skin breaks out.
A dermatologist can provide you with valuable information about the cause of your acne as well as providing you with options for its treatment. Additionally, there is a skin condition called keratosis pilaris that is often confused with acne, but, a dermatologist can determine which condition you actually have so that you are not wasting time with inappropriate treatments.
While it is a fact that mild conditions of acne can usually be effectively treated with over-the-counter medications, more severe cases require the attention of a doctor. You don't know just by looking in the mirror, but a dermatologist can quickly set you straight.
Another good reason to bring in a professional is that acne can cause physical, as well as emotional, suffering and can lead to permanent scarring if not properly treated. If you decide to go with OTC products but find out that your acne is not responding to over-the-counter acne medications you should consult with a dermatologist for treatment.
It is a good idea to prepare for your first consultation by writing down as much information about your acne as possible.
Your dermatologist will want to know the background, including how long you have had your acne, what form it takes (blackheads, whiteheads, lesions etc.) and what you have done so far to treat it. You may also be asked if your parents or siblings had acne and how severe it was for them, so you may have to ask them to provide you with that info.
Since the acne treatment may include oral medications you should be prepared to tell the doctor if you are allergic to certain medicines. Girls may be asked to describe their menstrual period and boys may need to say how often they shave.
The dermatologist may offer a choice of treatments so knowing a bit about the various options can help you make an informed decision. Antibiotics are used to kill the bacteria that cause acne. Antibiotics can be given orally or in a lotion that is applied to the skin. Severe cases may require the use of both forms.
No matter which form of treatment you decide on it is important to follow directions given by the doctor. Don't take more or less of a medication than prescribed. If your acne clears up, continue treatment until advised otherwise, otherwise it may come back.
Always be informed about your condition and get the information you require. Write down questions as you think of them so that you can ask your doctor at your next consultation. Common questions include:
Treatment for severe acne may continue for some time. Each time you see your doctor take the opportunity to clear up any questions or concerns you have about acne or your treatment. Try to become as well-informed as possible so that you can participate fully in your acne treatment.