Discussing Acne with Your Dermatologist

a young woman views her acne in a mirror

A dermatologist is a doctor who specializes in identifying and treating conditions and disorders of the skin, hair and nails.

If you are having issues with acne, a dermatologist will be able to advise you as to what type of acne you have, the best course of treatment, and what you can do to prevent further breakouts. He or she may also recommend products or prescribe medications and periodically follow up with you to assess if treatment should continue or be altered to accommodate your changing needs.

How a Dermatologist Can Help

If you are struggling with acne, your dermatologist will be able to help you understand the different stages of acne and which type you have. Different types of acne respond to different types of treatment, so it is important to have your acne correctly diagnosed before treatment begins. Your dermatologist will provide useful prevention and care tips, such as exfoliating and how often to cleanse and medicate the affected area.

Using his or her expertise on the matter, the dermatologist will also recommend a treatment plan for getting rid of your acne. Treatment may include an over-the-counter or prescription face wash, astringents, creams and oral medications. He or she will explain what each product does and what its role is in the treatment of your acne. He or she may even discuss or provide literature to you that will give you a better understanding of the science behind acne and may even dismiss common myths, such as the consumption of chocolate and greasy foods being related to breakouts.

Questions to Ask a Dermatologist

Write down any questions you may have so that when you see your dermatologist for the first time, you will be able to remember what to ask. Most common questions that you may have include how long it will take before your acne is gone, what is causing your acne, and if your acne will get worse before it gets better with treatment.

Your dermatologist will be able to give you a timeline of when he or she believes your skin will begin to clear up, what possible causes may be to blame for your acne, and what to expect from different treatment options in terms of further breakouts. Don’t be afraid to speak up if you are unclear on anything. The dermatologist is there to help you and will want to know if you have any concerns or questions on treatment plans or prescribed products.

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