Acne is a common skin condition – about 85% of us will have it at some point in our lives. With the abundance of over-the-counter acne treatment products available today, it’s easy to forget that acne is not just a cosmetic issue. It’s an actual medical condition that very often should be treated by an acne doctor. Acne vulgaris is a long-term skin disease that occurs when hair follicles become clogged with dead skin cells and oil from the skin. Acne is characterized by areas of blackheads, whiteheads, pimples and greasy skin. It may result in scarring. The resulting appearance can lead to anxiety, reduced self-esteem and, in extreme cases, depression.

So, how do you know when to call a dermatologist about your acne? Here are 5 signs that it’s time:

  1. You’ve Never Been Diagnosed with Acne Before

If you suddenly begin to break out in red bumps on the face, upper chest, back or elsewhere, and you have never before been diagnosed with acne, you should contact your dermatologist.

2.  Your Acne Is Getting Worse Despite Using Over-the-Counter Acne Products  

Mild cases of acne can often be successfully cleared with over-the-counter acne products.  But many cases just don’t respond well to OTC treatments.  In this case, it’s best to see an acne doctor about prescription acne treatments.

If you’ve been treating your acne consistently and your breakouts aren’t getting better, or if your acne seems to be worsening, you should contact your doctor. Your dermatologist can prescribe an acne medication that will give you better results, and will have helpful advice regarding proper acne skin care and home treatment.

3. You Have Moderate to Severe Inflammatory Acne, Nodules or Cystic Breakouts  

If your acne is moderate to severe, or very inflamed, skip the over-the-counter products altogether.  They just aren’t strong enough to improve acne at this level and you’ll waste time and money on products that won’t work for you.

Nodules and cysts are very severe forms of breakouts and should always be evaluated by a dermatologist. These deep blemishes can easily cause scarring, so they should be treated promptly.

4. You Think Your Acne May Be Caused by a Medication  

Certain medications, such as steroids and birth control pills, may cause acne. If you are taking any medications and your skin begins breaking out, let your doctor know.

5. You Are Extremely Upset or Depressed About Your Skin  

Let’s face it — acne can affect more than just your skin, it can affect your life! At THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology in Phoenix, Dr. Holy has treatment options available that can not only improve your skin, but also help you deal with the feelings of frustration and despair that can come along with acne.

Don’t wait! There’s no reason to just accept acne breakouts. With the right treatment, you can see your skin start to improve in just a few short weeks. Contact THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology at 602-867-7546 or website today to schedule an appointment.